Research Papers:

Glucocorticoid receptor beta increases migration of human bladder cancer cells

Lucien McBeth, Assumpta C. Nwaneri, Maria Grabnar, Jonathan Demeter, Andrea Nestor-Kalinoski and Terry D. Hinds, Jr. _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:27313-27324. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8430

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Lucien McBeth1, Assumpta C. Nwaneri1, Maria Grabnar1, Jonathan Demeter1, Andrea Nestor-Kalinoski2, Terry D. Hinds Jr.1

1Center for Hypertension and Personalized Medicine, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Toledo College of Medicine, Toledo, OH 43614, USA

2Advanced Microscopy and Imaging Center, Department of Surgery, University of Toledo College of Medicine, Toledo, OH 43614, USA

Correspondence to:

Terry D. Hinds, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: glucocorticoid receptor, GR, GR alpha, GR beta, glucocorticoids

Received: January 28, 2016     Accepted: March 14, 2016     Published: March 27, 2016


Bladder cancer is observed worldwide having been associated with a host of environmental and lifestyle risk factors. Recent investigations on anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid signaling point to a pathway that may impact bladder cancer. Here we show an inverse effect on the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) isoform signaling that may lead to bladder cancer. We found similar GRα expression levels in the transitional uroepithelial cancer cell lines T24 and UMUC-3. However, the T24 cells showed a significant (p < 0.05) increased expression of GRβ compared to UMUC-3, which also correlated with higher migration rates. Knockdown of GRβ in the T24 cells resulted in a decreased migration rate. Mutational analysis of the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of human GRβ revealed that miR144 might positively regulate expression. Indeed, overexpression of miR144 increased GRβ by 3.8 fold. In addition, miR144 and GRβ were upregulated during migration. We used a peptide nucleic acid conjugated to a cell penetrating-peptide (Sweet-P) to block the binding site for miR144 in the 3′UTR of GRβ. Sweet-P effectively prevented miR144 actions and decreased GRβ expression, as well as the migration of the T24 human bladder cancer cells. Therefore, GRβ may have a significant role in bladder cancer, and possibly serve as a therapeutic target for the disease.

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