MiR-126-3p inhibits thyroid cancer cell growth and metastasis, and is associated with aggressive thyroid cancer

Yin Xiong, Shweta Kotian, Martha A. Zeiger, Lisa Zhang, Electron Kebebew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background Previous studies have shown that microRNAs are dysregulated in thyroid cancer and play important roles in the post-transcriptional regulation of target oncogenes and/or tumor suppressor genes. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied the function of miR-126-3p in thyroid cancer cells, and as a marker of disease aggressiveness. We found that miR-126-3p expression was significantly lower in larger tumors, in tumor samples with extrathyroidal invasion, and in higher risk group thyroid cancer in 496 papillary thyroid cancer samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas study cohort. In an independent sample set, lower miR-126-3p expression was observed in follicular thyroid cancers (which have capsular and angioinvasion) as compared to follicular adenomas. Mechanistically, ectopic overexpression of miR-126-3p significantly inhibited thyroid cancer cell proliferation, in vitro (p<0.01) and in vivo (p<0.01), colony formation (p<0.01), tumor spheroid formation (p<0.05), cellular migration (p<0.05), VEGF secretion and endothelial tube formation, and lung metastasis in vivo.We found 14 predicted target genes, which were significantly altered upon miR-126-3p transfection in thyroid cancer cells, and which are involved in cancer biology. Of these 14 genes, SLC7A5 and ADAM9 were confirmed to be inhibited by miR-126-3p overexpression and to be direct targets of miR-136-3p. Conclusions/Significance To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that miR-126-3p has a tumorsuppressive function in thyroid cancer cells, and is associated with aggressive disease phenotype. This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0130496
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 5 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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