MicroRNAs (miRs) are small, endogenous, non-coding RNAs that regulate the stability and/or translation of complementary mRNA targets. MiRs have emerged not only as critical modulators of normal physiologic processes, but their deregulation may significantly impact prostate and other cancers. The expression of miR-23b and miR-27b, which are encoded by the same miR cluster (miR-23b/-27b), are downregulated in metastatic, castration-resistant tumors compared to primary prostate cancer and benign tissue; however, their possible role in prostate cancer progression is unknown. We found that ectopic expression of miR-23b/-27b in two independent castration-resistant prostate cancer cell lines resulted in suppression of invasion and migration, as well as reduced survival in soft agar (a measure of anoikis). However, there was no effect of miR-23b/-27b on cell proliferation suggesting that these miRs function as metastasis (but not growth) suppressors in prostate cancer. Conversely, inhibition of miR-23b/-27b in the less aggressive androgen-dependent LNCaP prostate cancer cell line resulted in enhanced invasion and migration also without affecting proliferation. Mechanistically, we found that introduction of miR-23b/-27b in metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer cell lines resulted in a significant attenuation of Rac1 activity without affecting total Rac1 levels and caused increased levels of the tumor suppressor E-cadherin. Inhibition of these miRs had the opposite effect in androgen-dependent LNCaP cells. These results suggest that miR-23b/-27b are metastasis suppressors that might serve as novel biomarkers and therapeutic agents for castration-resistant disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)