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Prostate. 2008 Nov 1;68(15):1599-606. doi: 10.1002/pros.20827.

Radiation modulation of microRNA in prostate cancer cell lines.

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Radiation Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.



MicroRNAs (miRNA) are gene regulators and play an important role in response to cellular stress.


Using multiplexed quantitative real-time PCR we performed global miRNA screening of prostate cancer cells in response to radiation treatment.


Several miRNA were significantly altered in response to radiation treatment. Significant changes were observed in miR-521 and miR-34c. To determine the role of miR-521 in radiation response we transiently overexpressed miR-521 using miR-521 mimic. The miR-521 mimic significantly sensitized prostate cancer cells to radiation treatment. Conversely, ectopic inhibition of miR-521 resulted in radiation resistance of prostate cancer cells. To determine the mechanism by which miR-521 modulates radiation sensitivity we measured the expression levels of one of its predicted target protein, Cockayne syndrome protein A (CSA). CSA is a DNA repair protein, and its levels correlated inversely with the levels of miR-521. Radiation treatment downregulated the levels of miR-521 and upregulated CSA protein. Similarly, ectopic inhibition of miR-521 resulted in increased CSA protein levels. Therefore by altering the levels of CSA protein, miR-521 sensitized prostate cancer cells to radiation treatment.


miR-521 modulates the expression levels of DNA repair protein, CSA and plays an important role, in the radio-sensitivity of prostate cancer cell lines. Thus miR-521 can be a potential target for enhancing the effect of radiation treatment on prostate cancer cells.

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