As a zinc transporter, SLC39A7 (zip7) is vital in intestinal epithelial self-renewal, and recent studies suggested that SLC39A7 was related to cancer progression. Whereas, little is known about the role of SLC39A7 in gastric cancer (GC). In this study, qRT-PCR analysis demonstrated that SLC39A7 mRNA level was increased in both GC tissues and cell lines. Overexpressing SLC39A7 boosted cell proliferation and migration, while inhibited apoptosis in GC. It was also found that si-SLC39A7 suppressed Akt/mTOR pathway and activation of Akt/mTOR pathway reversed the effects of si-SLC39A7 on GC development. Through prediction website, we found that SLC39A7 was directly regulated by miR-139-5p. miR-139-5p mimic had adverse effects on SLC39A7 expression and influence in the GC cell proliferation, migration and apoptosis by Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, while miR-139-5p inhibitor showed opposite effects. To conclude, our studies showed that SLC39A7 was negatively regulated by miR-139-5p. Besides, SLC39A7 positively regulate GC development through Akt/mTOR signaling pathway. These results indicate that SLC39A7 may be a candidate target gene for GC treatment.

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