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Downregulation of microRNA-124 is an independent prognostic factor in patients with colorectal cancer

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Recently, microRNA-124 (miR-124) has been demonstrated as a potential tumor suppressor in several types of cancers. However, the role of miR-124 in colorectal cancer remains unclear. This study was aimed at investigating the clinicopathological significance of miR-124 expression in colorectal cancer.


Quantitative real-time PCR was used to analyze miR-124 expression in 96 colorectal cancers and individual-matched normal mucosa samples. The expression of miR-124 was assessed for associations with clinicopathological characteristics using chi-square test. The survival curves were calculated by the Kaplan–Meier method. The influence of each variable on survival was examined by the Cox multivariate regression analysis.


The miR-124 expression was significantly downregulated in colorectal cancer compared to normal mucosa (P = 0.001). In colorectal cancer, miR-124 decreased expression correlated significantly with the grade of differentiation (P = 0.021). Univariate survival analysis showed that the downregulated miR-124 was significantly correlated with worse prognosis, both in terms of overall survival (P = 0.017) and disease-free survival (DFS) (P = 0.014). Further, the downregulated miR-124 was demonstrated as a prognostic factor for overall survival (hazard ratio, HR = 4.634; 95 % confidence interval, CI, 1.731–12.404; P = 0.002) and DFS (HR = 4.533, 95 % CI 1.733–11.856, P = 0.002), independently of gender, age, location, maximum tumor size, depth of invasion, differentiation, and TNM stage.


MiR-124 may play a certain role in the development of colorectal cancer. The downregulation expression of miR-124 is an independent prognostic factor in patients with colorectal cancer.

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This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 30830100) and Ph.D. Programs Foundation of the Ministry of Education of China (no. 200806100058). We thank Chen Keling and Lv Zhaoying for their technical assistance.

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Correspondence to Zong-Guang Zhou.

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Wang, MJ., Li, Y., Wang, R. et al. Downregulation of microRNA-124 is an independent prognostic factor in patients with colorectal cancer. Int J Colorectal Dis 28, 183–189 (2013).

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