MicroRNA could be valuable biomarkers for prostate cancer detection and management

Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Most prostate cancers are slow growing; however, there are cases of aggressive prostate cancers. The cancer cells may spread from the prostate to other parts of the body, particularly the bones and lymph nodes. Prostate cancer may initially cause no symptoms, but in later stages can cause pain, difficulty in urinating, problems during sexual intercourse, erectile dysfunction, and death. Other symptoms can potentially develop during later stages of the disease.

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Prostate cancer is most common in the developed world with increasing rates in the developing world. However, many men with prostate cancer never have symptoms, undergo no therapy, and eventually die of other unrelated causes.

Some research using microarray showed that microRNA-224 (miR-224) was down-regulated in human prostate cancer tissues compared with adjacent benign tissues. However, the underlying mechanisms by which miR-224 is involved in prostate cancer remain unclear. Through further research, scientists identified TRIB1 as a target gene of miR-224. Forced expression of miR-224 suppressed prostate cancer cell proliferation, invasion and migration, and promoted cell apoptosis by down-regulating TRIB1.

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Moreover, the expression level of miR-224 in prostate cancer tissues was negatively correlated with that of TRIB1. Down-regulation of miR-224 was frequently found in prostate cancer tissues with metastasis, higher PSA level and clinical stage, whereas TRIB1 up-regulation was significantly associated with metastasis. Both miR-224 down-regulation and TRIB1 up-regulation were significantly associated with poor biochemical recurrence-free survival of patients with prostate cancer. In conclusion, these findings reveal that the aberrant expression of miR-224 and TRIB1 may promote Prostate cancer progression and have potentials to serve as novel biomarkers for Prostate cancer prognosis.

Reference:

MicroRNA-224 inhibits progression of human prostate cancer by downregulating TRIB1. International Journal of Cancer. 2014; 135: 541–550.