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Mol Cancer. 2010 May 17;9:108. doi: 10.1186/1476-4598-9-108.

MicroRNA-101 negatively regulates Ezh2 and its expression is modulated by androgen receptor and HIF-1alpha/HIF-1beta.

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Department of Cancer Biology and Comprehensive Cancer Center, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.



In prostate cancer (PCa), the common treatment involving androgen ablation alleviates the disease temporarily, but results in the recurrence of highly aggressive and androgen-independent metastatic cancer. Therefore, more effective therapeutic approaches are needed. It is known that aberrant epigenetics contributes to prostate malignancy. Unlike genetic changes, these epigenetic alterations are reversible, which makes them attractive targets in PCa therapy to impede cancer progression. As a histone methyltransferase, Ezh2 plays an essential role in epigenetic regulation. Since Ezh2 is overexpressed and acts as an oncogene in PCa, it has been proposed as a bona fide target of PCa therapy. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression through modulating protein translation. Recently, the contribution of miRNAs in cancer development is increasingly appreciated. In this report, we present our study showing that microRNA-101 (miR-101) inhibits Ezh2 expression and differentially regulates prostate cancer cells. In addition, the expression of miR-101 alters upon androgen treatment and HIF-1alpha/HIF-1beta induction.


In our reporter assays, both miR-101 and miR-26a inhibit the expression of a reporter construct containing the 3'-UTR of Ezh2. When ectopically expressed in PC-3, DU145 and LNCaP cells, miR-101 inhibits endogenous Ezh2 expression in all three cell lines, while miR-26a only decreases Ezh2 in DU145. Ectopic miR-101 reduces the invasion ability of PC-3 cells, while restored Ezh2 expression rescues the invasiveness of PC-3 cells. Similarly, miR-101 also inhibits cell invasion and migration of DU145 and LNCaP cells, respectively. Interestingly, ectopic miR-101 exhibits differential effects on the proliferation of PC-3, DU-145 and LNCaP cells and also causes morphological changes of LNCaP cells. In addition, the expression of miR-101 is regulated by androgen receptor and HIF-1alpha/HIF-1beta. While HIF-1alpha/HIF-1beta induced by deferoxamine mesylate (DFO) decreases miR-101 levels, the overall effects of R-1881 on miR-101 expression are stimulatory.


This study indicates that miR-101 targets Ezh2 and decreases the invasiveness of PCa cells, suggesting that miR-101 introduction is a potential therapeutic strategy to combat PCa. MiR-101 differentially regulates prostate cell proliferation. Meanwhile, the expression of miR-101 is also modulated at different physiological conditions, such as androgen stimulation and HIF-1alpha/HIF-1beta induction.

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