Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 12, pp 15719–15727 | Cite as

MiR-212/132 is epigenetically downregulated by SOX4/EZH2-H3K27me3 feedback loop in ovarian cancer cells

  • Lin Lin
  • Zhiwen Wang
  • Haihong Jin
  • Hongzhen Shi
  • Zhihong Lu
  • Zhenqin Qi
Original Article


Both miR-212 and miR-132 are usually downregulated in ovarian cancer and act as tumor suppressors. However, the mechanism of their downregulation in ovarian cancer is not clear. In this study, we investigated the regulative effects of miR-212 and miR-132 on SOX4 expression in ovarian cancer cells and also studied whether there is a feedback regulation between miR-212/miR-132 and SOX4 via an epigenetic mechanism. The results showed that both EZH2 and SOX4 overexpressions significantly repressed miR-212 and miR-132 expressions in SKOV3 and OV2008 cells. Immunoprecipitation assay showed that there are interactions among SOX4, EZH2, and H3K27me3, and ChIP assay confirmed significant enrichment of EZH2 and H3K27me3 in the promoter region of miR-212/132. Both pri-miR-212 and pri-miR-132 expressions decreased after enforced EZH2 or SOX4 expression. Western blot and dual-luciferase assay confirmed that miR-212 and miR-132 can target the same sites in the 3′UTR of SOX4 mRNA and suppress its expression in ovarian cancer cells. MiR-132 or miR-212 overexpression or knockdown of endogenous SOX4 reduced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-like properties. Therefore, we infer that the SOX4/EZH2 complex can silence miR-212 and miR-132 expressions via binding to the promoter region and promoting H3K27me3, while miR-212 and miR-132 can directly bind to the 3′UTR of SOX4 and suppress its expression. This forms a MiR-132/212-SOX4/EZH2-H3K27me3 feedback loop in ovarian cancer cells. Functionally, SOX4 is a downstream effector of miR-212/132 modulating EMT of ovarian cancer cells.


miR-212 miR-132 SOX4 EZH2 H3K27me3 Ovarian cancer 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lin Lin
    • 1
  • Zhiwen Wang
    • 2
  • Haihong Jin
    • 2
  • Hongzhen Shi
    • 1
  • Zhihong Lu
    • 3
  • Zhenqin Qi
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Reproductive MedicineThe First Hospital of QinhuangdaoQinhuangdaoChina
  2. 2.Department of Gynaecology and ObstetricsThe First Hospital of QinhuangdaoQinhuangdaoChina
  3. 3.Department of Infectious DiseaseThe First Hospital of QinhuangdaoQinhuangdaoChina
  4. 4.B-ultrasound RoomThe First Hospital of QinhuangdaoQinhuangdaoChina

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