Tumor Biology

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 4017–4026 | Cite as

Expression and significance of miRNA-21 and BTG2 in lung cancer

  • Qing Sun
  • Meng Hang
  • Xuedan Guo
  • Wenlong Shao
  • Guangqiao Zeng
Research Article


This study investigates the expression of micro-ribonucleic acid-21 (miRNA-21) and B cell translocation gene 2 (BTG2) in lung cancer cells. We examined the impact of miRNA-21 on biological characteristics of lung cancer cells, such as growth, proliferation, apoptosis, and invasion. The expression of miRNA-21 and BTG2 protein in lung cancer cell lines (A549, HCC827, NCI-H292, and 95-D) was examined using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis, respectively. Subsequently, the regulatory role of miRNA-21 on BTG2 was explored by inhibiting miRNA-21 expression in 95-D cells using miRNA-21-antisense oligonucleotides (miRNA-21 ASO). The impact of miRNA-21 on the biological characteristics of 95-D cells was further studied using methylthiazol tetrazolium assays, flow cytometry, and Transwell invasion chamber assays. The impact of miRNA-21 on the expression of cyclin D1, caspase-3, and matrix metalloprotease-9 (MMP9) was also studied. miRNA-21 expression was significantly higher in lung cancer cell lines (A549, HCC827, NCI-H282, and 95-D) than that in normal human bronchial epithelial cells (HBE; p < 0.05). The pattern of BTG2 protein expression was exactly the opposite of miRNA-21 expression in lung cancer cells. BTG2 was highly expressed in HBE cells and was expressed at very low levels in lung cancer cell lines (A549, HCC827, NCI-H292, and 95-D). High miRNA-21 expression may inhibit BTG2 protein expression, whereas the inhibition of miRNA-21 expression may promote BTG2 protein expression in 95-D cells. Cell viability and invasion of 95-D cells were significantly lower in the miRNA-21 ASO-transfected group than that in the control ASO-transfected group and untransfected group (p < 0.05). The number of apoptotic cells was significantly higher in the miRNA-21 ASO-transfected group than that in the control ASO-transfected and untransfected groups (p < 0.05). The expression level of cyclin D1 and MMP9 in 95-D cells was significantly lower in the miRNA-21 ASO-transfected group than in the control ASO-transfected and untransfected groups (p < 0.05). Meanwhile, caspase-3 expression was significantly higher in the miRNA-21 ASO-transfected group than that in the control ASO-transfected and untransfected groups (p < 0.05). miRNA-21 overexpression may inhibit the BTG2 gene in lung cancer cells. miRNA-21 may promote cell proliferation and invasion and inhibit cell apoptosis in 95-D cells.


Lung cancer miRNA-21 BTG2 Cyclin D1 



We would like to thank Dr. Jacquelyn B for helping us edit the language of this manuscript.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical Oncology, Wuxi 2nd People’s HospitalNanjing Medical UniversityWuxiChina
  2. 2.Department of Cardiothoracic SurgeryThe First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Respiratory DiseaseFirst Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina

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