Research Papers:

Androgen-induced miR-135a acts as a tumor suppressor through downregulating RBAK and MMP11, and mediates resistance to androgen deprivation therapy

Xuechao Wan, Honglei Pu, Wenhua Huang, Shu Yang, Yalong Zhang, Zhe Kong, Zhuoran Yang, Peiqing Zhao, Ao Li, Tao Li and Yao Li _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:51284-51300. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9992

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Xuechao Wan1,*, Honglei Pu1,*, Wenhua Huang1, Shu Yang1, Yalong Zhang1, Zhe Kong1, Zhuoran Yang1, Peiqing Zhao3, Ao Li3, Tao Li3, Yao Li1,2

1State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Industrial Microorganisms, School of Life Science, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433, PR China

2Key Laboratory of Reproduction Regulation of NPFPC, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433, PR China

3Center of Translational Medicine, Central Hospital of Zibo, Zibo, Shangdong, 255036, PR China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Yao Li, email: [email protected]

Tao Li, email: [email protected]

Keywords: miR-135a, RBAK, MMP11, PI3K/AKT, androgen receptor

Received: November 11, 2015     Accepted: May 25, 2016     Published: June 14, 2016


The main challenge in the treatment of prostate cancer (PCa) is that the majority of patients inevitably develop resistance to androgen deprivation. However, the mechanisms involved in hormone independent behavior of PCa remain unclear. In the present study, we identified androgen-induced miR-135a as a direct target of AR. Functional studies revealed that overexpression of miR-135a could significantly decrease cell proliferation and migration, and induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in PCa. We identified RBAK and MMP11 as direct targets of miR-135a in PCa by integrating bioinformatics analysis and experimental assays. Mechanistically, miR-135a repressed PCa migration through downregulating MMP11 and induced PCa cell cycle arrest and apoptosis by suppressing RBAK. Consistently, inverse correlations were also observed between the expression of miR-135a and RBAK or MMP11 in PCa samples. In addition, low miR-135a and high RBAK and MMP11 expression were positively correlated with PCa progression. Also, PI3K/AKT pathway was confirmed to be an upstream regulation signaling of miR-135a in androgen-independent cell lines. Accordingly, we reported a resistance mechanism to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) mediated by miR-135a which might be downregulated by androgen depletion and/or PI3K/AKT hyperactivation, in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), thus promoting tumor progression. Taken together, miR-135a may represent a new diagnostic and therapeutic biomarker for castration-resistant PCa.

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