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PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e80807. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080807. eCollection 2013.

The antiapoptotic function of miR-96 in prostate cancer by inhibition of FOXO1.

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Department of Urology, Charité - University Hospital, Berlin, Germany ; Berlin Institute of Urologic Research, Berlin, Germany.


microRNAs (miRNAs) are small molecules that regulate gene expression posttranscriptionally. In a previous study, we identified miR-96 to be upregulated in prostate cancer specimens in comparison to normal adjacent tissue and to be an independent marker of biochemical relapse in a multivariate prediction model. Therefore, we investigated the functional role of miR-96 in prostate carcinogenesis. LNCaP and DU145 prostate cancer cells were transiently transfected with miR-96 precursors and phenotypic changes were analyzed. The miR-96 increased proliferation and impaired apoptosis induced by camptothecine in these cells. In silico target prediction analysis identified FOXO1 as potential pro-apoptotic miR-96 target. miR-96 was able to bind to both bindings sites in the FOXO1 3' UTR in a luciferase reporter gene assay. Overexpression of miR-96 in LNCaP cells resulted in a reduced FOXO1 expression. Overexpression of FOXO1 induced a strong apoptotic phenotype that was partially rescued by coexpression of miR-96. RT-qPCR and immunohistochemistry of 69 prostate cancer specimens revealed a downregulation of FOXO1 and an inverse correlation of miR-96 and FOXO1 protein expression. In conclusion, we show that miR-96 can regulate apoptosis in prostate cancer, by inhibiting the FOXO1 transcription factor.

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