Although miR-145 is the most frequently downregulated miRNA in bladder cancer, its exact stage association and downstream effector have not been defined. Here, we found that miR-145 was upregulated in human patients with bladder cancer with lymph node metastasis and in metastatic T24T cell line. Forced expression of miR-145 promoted anchorage-independent growth of T24T cells accompanied by the downregulation of forkhead box class O1 (FOXO1). In contrast, in non-metastatic T24 cells, miR-145 overexpression inhibited cell growth with upregulation of FOXO1, and the knockdown of FOXO1 abolished the miR-145-mediated inhibition of cell growth. Mechanistic studies revealed that miR-145 directly bound to and attenuated 3'-untranslated region (UTR) activity of foxo1 mRNA in both T24 and T24T cells. Interestingly, miR-145 suppressed STAT3 phosphorylation at Tyr705 and increased foxo1 promoter transcriptional activity in T24 cells, but not in T24T cells, suggesting a role of STAT3 in the divergent responses to miR-145. Supporting this was our finding that STAT3 knockdown mimicked miR-145-mediated upregulation of FOXO1 in T24T cells and inhibition of anchorage-independent growth. Consistently, ectopic expression of miR-145 promoted tumor formation of xenograft T24T cells, whereas such promoting effect became inhibitory due to specific knockdown of STAT3. Together, our findings demonstrate the stage-specific association and function of miR-145 in bladder cancers and provide novel insights into the therapeutic targeting of miR-145. Mol Cancer Ther; 16(5); 924-35. ©2017 AACR.
©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.