BackgroundEpithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), a subclass of ovarian cancer (OC), is usually diagnosed at advanced stages due to the lack of effective screening means. Mounting reports have disclosed the vitally important roles of microRNAs (miRNAs) in carcinogenesis. Here, we aimed to find out possible miRNAs participating in EOC development.MethodsqRT-PCR ad western blot respectively examined the mRNA and protein levels of studied genes. CCK-8, colony formation, flow cytometry, TUNEL and spheroid formation assays were appropriately employed for examining cell proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis and stemness. The interaction between molecules was affirmed by luciferase reporter, RNA pull down and ChIP assays.ResultsIn consistent with the observation of a past study, miR-596 expression was relatively low in EOC cells. Up-regulating miR-596 suppressed EOC cell proliferation and stemness. EP300 transcriptionally activated miR-596 to serve as a tumor-repressor in EOC. Then BRD4 and KPNA4, whose knockdown led to restraining effects on cell growth and stemness, were both revealed to be targeted by miR-596 in EOC. Lastly, rescue assays affirmed the tumor-restraining role of miR-596-BRD4/KPNA4 axis in EOC.ConclusionEP300-activated miR-596 hampered cell growth and stemness via targeting BRD4 and KPNA4 in EOC, proofing miR-596 as a promising therapeutic target in treating EOC patients.