Purpose: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is associated with high recurrence and mortality. Because deregulation of microRNAs is associated with CRC development and recurrence, the expression levels of microRNAs can be a simple and reliable biomarker to detect postoperative early relapse, thereby helping physicians to treat high-risk patients more efficiently. Experimental design: We used microRNA arrays and observed that microRNA-93 had substantially different expression levels in early (recurrence within 12 months after surgery) and non-early relapse CRC patients. The replication study, which included 35 early relapse and 42 non-early relapse subjects, further confirmed overexpression of microRNA-93 in non-early relapse samples. The in vitro and in vivo effects of microRNA-93 were investigated by examining cell proliferation, migration and invasion, as well as cell cycles, target-gene expression and xenograft in null mice. Results: Cellular studies showed that the overexpression of microRNA-93 inhibited colon cancer cell proliferation and migration but not invasion. The cell cycle studies also revealed that microRNA-93 caused an accumulation of the G2 population. However, microRNA-93 could not induce cell apoptosis or necrosis. Functional studies showed that microRNA-93 could suppress CCNB1 protein expression leading to cell cycle arrest in the G2 phase. Moreover, microRNA-93 repressed expression of ERBB2, p21 and VEGF, all of which are involved in cell proliferation. MicroRNA-93 also suppressed tumor growth in null mice. Conclusions: This study showed that microRNA-93 can inhibit tumorigenesis and reduce the recurrence of CRC; these findings may have potential clinical applications for predicting the recurrence of CRC.
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