Artesunate suppresses the viability and mobility of prostate cancer cells through UCA1, the sponge of miR-184

Oncotarget. 2017 Mar 14;8(11):18260-18270. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.15353.


Artesunate (ART) is a sesquiterpene lactone isolated from the leafy portions of the Chinese herb Artemisia annua. Here, we evaluated the effect of ART on the prostate cancer (PCa) cell lines DU145 and LNCaP and explored its potential mechanisms. ART inhibited the viability and mobility of DU145 and LNCaP cells. Mechanistically, we found that UCA1, one of the most important lncRNAs in malignancies of the urinary system, may be a potential mediator contributing to the tumor suppressor function of ART. First, the UCA1 level was reduced significantly after being exposed to ART. In addition, UCA1 was up-regulated in prostate cancer tissues compared to hyperplastic prostatic tissues, and a higher UCA1 level predicted poor prognosis in PCa patients. Furthermore, reintroduction of UCA1 into PCa cells reversed the effect of ART on apoptosis and metastatic ability. Then we determined that the miR-184/Bcl-2 axis might be the downstream signaling pathway of UCA1 upon ART treatment. UCA1 binds to miR-184 through its seed sequences and may function as a sponge for miR-184.

Keywords: UCA1; artesunate; metastasis; miR-184; prostate cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Artemisinins / pharmacology*
  • Artesunate
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Down-Regulation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / metabolism*


  • Artemisinins
  • MIRN184 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • UCA1 RNA, human
  • Artesunate