MicroRNA-21 is overexpressed in renal cell carcinoma

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To identify microRNAs (miRNAs) that are overexpressed in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and characterize the functional role of miR-21.

Materials and methods:

The miRNA expression profiles between RCC tissue and adjacent normal tissue were compared using microarray analysis. The differential expression of miR-21 was validated by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). 786-O RCC cells were transfected with miR-21 mimic, miR-21 inhibitor, or negative controls and cell proliferation, apoptosis and cell cycle were examined by MTT assay and flow cytometry. The expression of programmed cell death 4 (PDCD4) and tropomyosin 1 (TPM1) was detected by RT-PCR and Western blot analysis.


Compared to adjacent normal tissue, 10 human miRNAs were significantly upregulated and 7 were downregulated in RCC tissue. RT-PCR confirmed that miR-21 was significantly overexpressed in RCC tissue. In vitro expression of miR-21 mimic promoted the growth of 786-O cells, whereas miR-21 inhibitor inhibited cell growth by inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at S phase. Furthermore, miR-21 mimic or inhibitor significantly reduced or increased the expression of PDCD4 and TPM1.


MiR-21 is overexpressed in RCC tissue and modulates the growth, apoptosis and cell cycle progression of RCC cells and regulates the expression of PDCD4 and TPM1.

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