Downregulation of TMEM40 by miR-138-5p suppresses cell proliferation and mobility in clear cell renal cell carcinoma

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Urology, Xiangyang Central Hospital, Affiliated Hospital of Hubei University of Arts and Science, Xiangyang, China


Background: Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) represents approximately 70% of RCC,as the most frequent histological subtype of RCC. MiR-138-5p, a tumor-related microRNA (miRNA), has been reported to be implicated in the diverse types of human malignancies, but its role in ccRCCremains unclear.
Objective: The study was designed to investigate the functional behaviors and regulatory mechanisms of miR-138-5p in ccRCC.
Materials and Methods: Quantitative real-time PCR and western blotting analyses were performed to determine the expression of miR-138-5p and TMEM40 in ccRCC tissues. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was utilized to evaluate the correlation between miR-138-5p and TMEM40 expression. The function of miR-138-5p and TMEM40 in the cell proliferation, migration and invasion of ccRCC cells (786-O and ACHN) was assessed by CCK-8, colony formation, wound healing and transwell assay, respectively. A luciferase reporter assay was performed to confirm the direct binding of miR-138-5p to the target gene TMEM40.
Results: We found the expression of miR-138-5p was significantly down-regulated, while TMEM40 was remarkably up-regulated in ccRCC tissues. TMEM40 expression was discovered to be inversely correlated with miR-138-5p expression in ccRCC tissues. Functional studies demonstrated that miR-138-5p overexpression or TMEM40 knockdown significantly suppressed ccRCC cell proliferation, migration and invasion in vitro. Notably, we experimentally confirmed that miR-138-5p directly recognizes the 3’-UTR of the TMEM40 transcript and down-regulated its expression in ccRCC cells.
Conclusions: Taken together, our findings provide the first clues regarding the role of miR-138-5p as a tumor suppressor in ccRCC by directly targeting  of TMEM40.


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