miR-449a causes Rb-dependent cell cycle arrest and senescence in prostate cancer cells
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Received: June 25, 2010, Accepted: September 1, 2010, Published: September 13, 2010MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that regulate gene expression by repressing translation or triggering the degradation of complementary mRNA sequences. Certain miRNAs have been shown to function as integral components of the p53 and/or retinoblastoma (Rb) regulatory networks. As such, miRNA dysregulation can have a profound effect on cancer development. Previous studies have shown that miR-449a is down-regulated in human prostate cancer tissue and possesses potential tumor suppressor function. In the present study, we identify miR-449a-mediated growth arrest in prostate cancer cells is dependent on the Rb protein. We show that mutant Rb prostate cancer cells (DU-145) are resistant to cell cycle arrest and cellular senescence induced by miR-449a, while overexpression of wild-type Rb in DU-145 sublines (DU-1.1 and B5) restores miR-449a function. In silico analysis of 3'UTR regions reveal a putative miR-449a target site in the transcript of Cyclin D1 (CCND1); an oncogene involved in directly regulating Rb activity and cell cycle progression. Luciferase 3'UTR reporter constructs and inhibitory oligonucleotides confirm that Cyclin D1 is a direct downstream target of miR-449a. We also reveal that miR-449a suppresses Rb phosphorylation through the knockdown of Cyclin D1 and previously validated target HDAC1. By targeting genes involved in controlling Rb activity, miR-449a regulates growth and senescence in an Rb-dependent manner. These data indicate that miR-449a is a miRNA component of the Rb pathway and its tumor suppressor-like effects, in part, depends on Rb status in prostate cancer cells.
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