Effects of p-coumaric acid on microRNA expression profiles in SNU-16 human gastric cancer cells



p-Coumaric acid (p-CA), a phenolic compound abundantly found in edible plants, was found to induce apoptosis in SNU-16 gastric cancer cells. However, the effects of p-CA on the microRNA expression pattern in SNU-16 cells have not been reported.


The primary objective of this study was to investigate microRNA expression profiles in p-CA-treated SNU-16 cells.


SNU-16 cells were treated with 1.5 mM p-CA for 48 h. High-throughput RNA sequencing was performed. The accuracy and validity of the RNA sequencing results were tested by real-time PCR. Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analyses were performed using the differentially expressed microRNAs (DEMs).


Thirty-two DEMs were identified between p-CA-treated and control cells, 9 of which were upregulated, and 23 downregulated. GO and KEGG pathway analyses of the target genes indicated that these genes were involved in a variety of biological functions and several cancer-related pathways. The miRNA interactive network analysis identified hsa-miR-125a-5p, hsa-miR-30a-5p, and hsa-miR-7-5p as the major nodes.


Our findings indicated that p-CA exerted its anticancer effects in SNU-16 gastric cancer cells by modulating the expression of certain microRNAs, providing a better understanding of the anticancer properties of p-CA in gastric cancer cells.

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This research was supported by the 2019 Scientific Promotion funded by Jeju National University and Program Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2019R1A6A10072987).

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Correspondence to Se-Jae Kim.

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Conflict of interest Mi Gyeong Jang, Hee Chul Ko, and Se−Jae Kim declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Jang, M.G., Ko, H.C. & Kim, S. Effects of p-coumaric acid on microRNA expression profiles in SNU-16 human gastric cancer cells. Genes Genom 42, 817–825 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13258-020-00944-6

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  • MicroRNA
  • SNU-16 cell
  • p-Coumaric acid
  • Next-generation sequencing