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MicroRNA-100 is a potential molecular marker of non-small cell lung cancer and functions as a tumor suppressor by targeting polo-like kinase 1

Jing Liu1, Kai-Hua Lu23, Zhi-Li Liu1, Ming Sun4, Wei De4 and Zhao-Xia Wang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Oncology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, 121 Jiangjiayuan Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210011, Peoples Republic of China

2 Immunology and Reproductive Biology Lab of Medical School and State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210093, Peoples Republic of China

3 Department of Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210029, Peoples Republic of China

4 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210029, Peoples Republic of China

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BMC Cancer 2012, 12:519  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-519

Published: 14 November 2012



Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) is highly expressed in many human cancers and regulates critical steps in mitotic progression. Previously, we have reported that PLK1 was overexpressed in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but the underlying molecular mechanisms are not well understood. By using microRNA (miR) target prediction algorithms, we identified miR-100 that might potentially bind the 3’-untranslated region of PLK1 transcripts. The purpose of this study was to investigate the roles of miR-100 and its association with PLK1 in NSCLC development.


Taqman real-time quantitative RT-PCR assay was performed to detect miR-100 expression 10 NSCLC tissues and corresponding nontumor tissues. Additionally, the expression of miR-100 in 110 NSCLC tissues and its correlation with clinicopathological factors or prognosis of patients was analyzed. Finally, the effects of miR-100 expression on growth, apoptosis and cell cycle of NSCLC cells by posttranscriptionally regulating PLK1 expression were determined.


MiR-100 was significantly downregulated in NSCLC tissues, and low miR-100 expression was found to be closely correlated with higher clinical stage, advanced tumor classification and lymph node metastasis of patients. The overall survival of NSCLC patients with low miR-100 was significantly lower than that of those patients with high miR-100, and univariate and multivariate analyses indicated that low miR-100 expression might be a poor prognostic factor. Also, miR-100 mimics could lead to growth inhibition, G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis enhancement in NSCLC cells. Meanwhile, miR-100 mimics could significantly inhibit PLK1 mRNA and protein expression and reduce the luciferase activity of a PLK1 3’ untranslated region-based reporter construct in A549 cells. Furthermore, small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated PLK1 downregulation could mimic the effects of miR-100 mimics while PLK1 overexpression could partially rescue the phenotypical changes of NSCLC cells induced by miR-100 mimics.


Our findings indicate that low miR-100 may be a poor prognostic factor for NSCLC patients and functions as a tumor suppressor by posttranscriptionally regulating PLK1 expression.