CRC (colorectal cancer) is one of the most malignant tumours in both developing and developed countries. It is estimated that 60% of CRC patients have liver metastasis. In the present study, we show that miR-30b is an important regulator in human CRC migration and invasion, which are vital steps in CRC liver metastasis. miR-30b was significantly down-regulated in primary CRC specimens compared with normal tissues. Furthermore, miR-30b was much lower in liver metastasis tissues than in CRCs. We validated SIX1 (SIX homeobox 1), a member of the SIX homeodomain family of transcription factors and an EMT (epithelial–mesenchymal transition)-promoting gene, as the direct target of miR-30b. Forced expression of miR-30b inhibited CRC cell migration and invasion in vitro via its target gene SIX1. Furthermore, an inverse correlation between expression of SIX1 and miR-30b has been observed both in primary CRC specimens and liver metastasis. Taken together, miR-30b plays an important role in mediating metastatic related behaviour in CRC. miR-30b may serve as a potential diagnostic marker and therapeutic target for patients with CRC in the future.

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