The miRNAs have great potential as biomarkers and therapeutic agents owing to their ability to control multiple genes and potential to influence cellular behavior. Here, we identified that miR-23b is a methylation-silenced tumor suppressor in prostate cancer. We showed that miR-23b expression is controlled by promoter methylation and has great promise as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in prostate cancer. High levels of miR-23b expression are positively correlated with higher overall and recurrence-free survival in patients with prostate cancer. Furthermore, we elucidated the tumor suppressor role of miR-23b using in vitro and in vivo models. We showed that proto-oncogene Src kinase and Akt are direct targets of miR-23b. Increased expression of miR-23b inhibited proliferation, colony formation, migration/invasion, and triggered G0-G1 cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in prostate cancer. Overexpression of miR-23b inhibited epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) causing a decline in mesenchymal markers Vimentin and Snail and increasing the epithelial marker, E-cadherin. Depletion of Src by RNA interference conferred similar functional effects as that of miR-23b reconstitution. miR-23b expression caused a dramatic decrease in tumor growth in nude mice and attenuated Src expression in excised tumors compared with a control miR. These findings suggest that miR-23b is a methylation-silenced tumor suppressor that may be a useful biomarker in prostate cancer. Loss of miR-23b may confer proliferative advantage and promote prostate cancer migration and invasion, and reexpression of miR-23b may contribute to the epigenetic therapy for prostate cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research