Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer in women worldwide. In the present study, global microRNA profiling for 79 cervical cancer patient samples led to the identification of miR-218 down-regulation in cervical cancer tissues compared to normal cervical tissues. Lower miR-218 expression was associated significantly with worse overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), and pelvic/aortic lymph node recurrence. In vitro, miR-218 over-expression decreased clonogenicity, migration, and invasion. Survivin (BIRC5) was subsequently identified as an important cervical cancer target of miR-218 using in silico prediction, mRNA profiling, and quantitative realtime PCR (qRT-PCR). Concordant with miR-218 over-expression, survivin knockdown by siRNA decreased clonogenicity, migration, and invasion. YM155, a small molecule survivin inhibitor, significantly suppressed tumor growth and lymph node metastasis in vivo. Our findings demonstrate that the miR-218~survivin axis inhibits cervical cancer progression by regulating clonogenicity, migration, and invasion, and suggest that the inhibition of survivin could be a potential therapeutic strategy to improve outcome in this disease.
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