Hypermethylation-mediated inactivation of miR-124 predicts poor prognosis and promotes tumor growth at least partially through targeting EZH2/H3K27me3 in ESCC

  • Ziqiang Tian
  • Zhenhua Li
  • Yonggang Zhu
  • Lingjiao Meng
  • Fei Liu
  • Meixiang Sang
  • Guiying WangEmail author
Research Paper


Accumulating evidences indicated that some microRNAs (miRNAs) play a critical role during the carcinogenesis. In the present study, we found that miR-124 is down-regulated in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) tissues. Three miR-124 encoding genes, including mir-124-1, mir-124-2, and mir-124-3, harboring CpG islands undergo methylation-mediated miR-124 inactivation in ESCC tissues. The methylation status of all these three genes was negatively associated with the expression of miR-124. The low expression of miR-124 and the hypermethylation of mir-124-1 and mir-124-3 were associated with the clinico-pathological parameters indicating the poor prognosis. In addition, promoter methylation of all three genes plus low expression of miR-124 was the independent poor prognostic marker for ESCC patients. In conclusion, miR-124 may function as a tumor suppressive miRNA, and hypermethylation-mediated inactivation of miR-124 may be useful for a poor prognostic marker for ESCC patients.


Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma miR-124 Methylation mir-124-1 mir-124-2 mir-124-3 





Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma


Esophageal adenocarcinoma


3′ Untranslated regions



This work was supported by the Grants from the Ordinary University Considerable Distinctive Subjects Foundation of Hebei Province (No. 200552).


This work was supported by National Nature Science Foundation of China (No. 81001178), and Science Foundation of Hebei Province (No. 16967788D).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors had no conflicts of interest to declare in relation to this article.

Supplementary material

10585_2019_9974_MOESM1_ESM.tif (25 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1. The expression of miR-124-3p and EZH2 in ESCC cell lines. (A) The expression of miR-124-3p and EZH2 in four ESCC cell lines was detected by qRT-PCR. (B) The correlation between EZH2 and miR-124-3p expression in above four ESCC cell lines. Supplementary material 1 (TIFF 24 kb)
10585_2019_9974_MOESM2_ESM.png (58 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 2. The expression of miR-124 using 5S rRNA as an internal reference gene in primary tumor specimens. (A) Relative expression of miR-124-3p in ESCC tissues and corresponding normal tissues. Data are expressed as the Mean ± SEM of three independent replicate experiments (6.32 ± 0.21 vs. 3.12 ± 0.14, P < 0.001). (B) The expression of miR-124-3p was correlated with the tumor infiltration, lymphode metastasis, distant metastasis or recurrence, and clinical stage. Data are expressed as the Mean ± SEM of three independent replicate experiments (4.52 ± 0.20 vs. 2.24 ± 0.11, P < 0.001; 4.42 ± 0.18 vs. 3.26 ± 0.17, P < 0.01; 3.72 ± 0.12 vs. 2.17 ± 0.11, P < 0.001; 3.86 ± 0.16 vs. 2.37 ± 0.14, P < 0.001). (C) Relative expression of miR-124 in mir-124-1, mir-124-2, mir-124-3 methylation or unmethylation ESCC tissues. Data are expressed as the Mean ± SEM of three independent replicate experiments (4.16 ± 0.27 vs. 2.95 ± 0.15, P < 0.001; 4.43 ± 0.27 vs. 3.06 ± 0.13, P < 0.001; 4.97 ± 0.26 vs. 3.13 ± 0.14, P < 0.001). Supplementary material 2 (PNG 58 kb)
10585_2019_9974_MOESM3_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ziqiang Tian
    • 1
  • Zhenhua Li
    • 1
  • Yonggang Zhu
    • 1
  • Lingjiao Meng
    • 2
  • Fei Liu
    • 2
  • Meixiang Sang
    • 2
  • Guiying Wang
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Thoracic SurgeryThe Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical UniversityShijiazhuangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Research CenterThe Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical UniversityShijiazhuangPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.The Second SurgeryThe Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical UniversityShijiazhuangPeople’s Republic of China

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