miRNA-29b suppresses prostate cancer metastasis by regulating epithelial-mesenchymal transition signaling

Mol Cancer Ther. 2012 May;11(5):1166-73. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-12-0100. Epub 2012 Mar 8.


Prostate cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths among American men. Early diagnosis increases survival rate in patients; however, treatments for advanced disease are limited to hormone ablation techniques and palliative care. Thus, new methods of treatment are necessary for inhibiting prostate cancer disease progression. Here, we have shown that miRNA-29b (miR-29b) expression was lower in prostate cancer cells (PC3 and LNCaP) as compared with immortalized prostate epithelial cells. Between these two prostate cancer cell lines, metastatic prostate cancer PC3 cells displayed lower expression of miR-29b. We also observed a significant downregulation of miR-29b expression in human prostate cancer tissues as compared with patient-matched nontumor tissues. PC3 cells ectopically expressing miR-29b inhibited wound healing, invasiveness, and failed to colonize in the lungs and liver of severe combined immunodeficient mice after intravenous injection, while PC3 cells expressing a control miRNA displayed metastasis. Epithelial cell marker E-cadherin expression was enhanced miR-29b transfected in prostate cancer cells as compared with cells expressing control miRNA. On the other hand, N-cadherin, Twist, and Snail expression was downregulated in PC3 cells expressing miR-29b. Together these results suggested that miR-29b acts as an antimetastatic miRNA for prostate cancer cells at multiple steps in a metastatic cascade. Therefore, miR-29b could be a potentially new attractive target for therapeutic intervention in prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Snail Family Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • MIRN29a microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • Snail Family Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors