Objective: Gliomas as primary cerebral malignancies frequently occurring in adults have relatively high morbidity and mortality. The underlying role of long non-coding ribonucleic acids (lncRNAs) in malignancies has attracted much attention, among which tumor suppressor candidate 7 (TUSC7) is a novel tumor suppressor gene whose regulatory mechanism in human cerebral gliomas remains inconclusive.

Methods and results: In this study, bioinformatics analysis indicated that TUSC7 could specifically bind to microRNA (miR)-10a-5p, and according to quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR), miR-10a-5p was up-regulated in human glioma cells and negatively correlated with TUSC7 expression. Dual-luciferase reporter gene assay showed the ability of TUSC7 to bind to miR-10a-5p, and overexpression of TUSC7 notably inhibited miR-10a-5p expression, restrained human glioma cell proliferation and migration, and regulated cell cycle and cyclin expression via the brain-derived neurotrophic factor/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (BDNF/ERK) pathway. The inhibitory effect of TUSC7 on miR-10a-5p was also verified by designing miR-10a-5p overexpression and knockdown panels for wound healing, Transwell and Western blotting assays.

Conclusions: TUSC7 suppresses human glioma cell proliferation and migration by negatively modulating miR-10a-5p and inhibiting the BDNF/ERK pathway, thus acting as a tumor suppressor gene in human gliomas.