MiR-376a promotion of proliferation and metastases in ovarian cancer: Potential role as a biomarker

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Ovarian cancer is the fifth most deadly cancer in women, and is usually diagnosed too late. Exploring specific and sensitive biomarkers will be helpful to early detection and will improve the survival rates of ovarian cancer patients.

Main methods:

Realtime PCR was used to detect the expression of miR-376a. Wound healing and transwell assays were used to examined the migration and invasion abilities of ovarian cancer cells. Tumor xenograft experiments were employed to test the in vivo malignancy of ovarian cancer cells. Western Blotting and luciferase report assays were conducted for the target genes analysis.

Key findings:

Using a cohort of 32 cases of ovarian cancer and 10 cases of healthy control samples, we found that miR-376 expression is increased in ovarian cancer tissues. The serum level of miR-376a is significantly higher in ovarian cancer patients and is associated with the clinical stages of ovarian cancer. Over expression of miR-376a stimulated the proliferation, migration, and invasion of ovarian cancer cells, while inhibition of miR-376a expression blocked the proliferation, migration, and invasion. Data from nude mice further demonstrated the stimulatory role of miR-376a in ovarian cancer progression. Mechanically, miR-376a played its role by targeting KLF15 and Caspase-8.


Our findings enrich the knowledge of miR-376a in ovarian cancer formation and progression, providing a possibility of using miR-376a as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker for ovarian cancer.

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