MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate a wide range of cellular signaling pathways and biological processes in both physiological and pathological states such as cancer. We have previously identified miR-135b as a direct regulator of androgen receptor (AR) protein level in prostate cancer (PCa). We wanted to further explore the relationship of miR-135b to hormonal receptors, particularly estrogen receptor α (ERα). Here we show that miR-135b expression is lower in ERα-positive breast tumors as compared to ERα-negative samples in two independent breast cancer (BCa) patient cohorts (101 and 1302 samples). Additionally, the miR-135b expression is higher in AR-low PCa patient samples (47 samples). We identify ERα as a novel miR-135b target by demonstrating miR-135b binding to the 3'UTR of the ERα and decreased ERα protein and mRNA level upon miR-135b overexpression in BCa cells. MiR-135b reduces proliferation of ERα-positive BCa cells MCF-7 and BT-474 as well as AR-positive PCa cells LNCaP and 22Rv1 when grown in 2D. To identify other genes regulated by miR-135b we performed gene expression studies and found a link to the hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) pathway. We show that miR-135b influences the protein level of the inhibitor for hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF1AN) and is able to bind to HIF1AN 3'UTR. Our study demonstrates that miR-135b regulates ERα, AR and HIF1AN protein levels through interaction with their 3'UTR regions, and proliferation in ERα-positive BCa and AR-positive PCa cells.
Keywords: Androgen receptor (AR); Breast cancer (BCa); Estrogen receptor α (ERα); Hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha subunit inhibitor (HIF1AN); MicroRNA (miRNA); Prostate cancer (PCa).
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