Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Cancer


Volume 5, Issue 9

Inclusive Pages



Retinoblastoma (RB) is a children’s ocular cancer caused by mutated retinoblastoma 1 (Rb1) gene on both alleles. Rb1 and other related genes could be regulated by microRNAs (miRNA) via complementarily pairing with their target sites. MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) possesses the oncogenic potential to target several tumor suppressor genes, including PDCD4, and regulates tumor progression and metastasis. However, the mechanism of how miR-21 regulates PDCD4 is poorly understood in RB. We investigated the expression of miRNAs in RB cell lines and identified that miR-21 is one of the most deregulated miRNAs in RB. Using qRT-PCR, we verified the expression level of several miRNAs identified by independent microarray assays, and analyzed miRNA expression patterns in three RB cell lines, including Weri-Rb1, Y79 and RB355. We found that miR-19b, -21, -26a, -195 and -222 were highly expressed in all three cell lines, suggesting their potential role in RB tumorigenesis. Using the TargetScan program, we identified a list of potential target genes of these miRNAs, of which PDCD4 is one the targets of miR-21. In this study, we focused on the regulatory mechanism of miR-21 on PDCD4 in RB. We demonstrated an inverse correlation between miR-21 and PDCD4 expression in Weri-Rb1 and Y79 cells. These data suggest that miR-21 down-regulates Rb1 by targeting PDCD4 tumor suppressor. Therefore, miR-21 could serve as a therapeutic target for retinoblastoma.


Reproduced with permission of Ivyspring. Journal of Cancer.

Peer Reviewed


Open Access