miR-938 promotes colorectal cancer cell proliferation via targeting tumor suppressor PHLPP2

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Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Although the development of therapy approaches, the outcome of CRC patients still is poor, understanding the biological mechanism of CRC progression is critical to improve the treatment strategies. miRNAs regulate CRC progression, we found miR-938 was upregulated in CRC tissues and cells, MTT assay, colony formation assay and soft agar growth assay suggested miR-938 overexpression promoted CRC cell proliferation, miR-938 knockdown inhibited CRC cell proliferation. Tumor suppressor PH domain Leucine-rich-repeats Protein Phosphatase 2 (PHLPP2) was a target of miR-938, miR-938 inhibited PHLPP2, luciferase activity assay suggested miR-938 directly bound to the 3′UTR of PHLPP2, meanwhile, we found miR-938 promoted c-Myc and Cyclin D1 expression, confirming miR-938 promoted CRC cell proliferation. Double knockdown of miR-938 and PHLPP2 promoted CRC cell proliferation, suggesting miR-938 promoted CRC cell proliferation by inhibiting PHLPP2.

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