MiR-451 suppresses the growth, migration, and invasion of prostate cancer cells by targeting macrophage migration inhibitory factor

Gang Wang, Lixia Yao, Tao Yang, Liuxiong Guo, Shouyi Gu, Junjiang Liu, Kuo Yang


Background: Metastasis is the most common cause of death of prostate cancer patients. Identification of key regulators in prostate cancer metastasis is essential for improved management of the disease. Accumulation of evidence suggests that miRNAs play important roles in cancer metastasis. Here, we investigated the role of miR-451 in prostate cancer progression and metastasis.
Methods: In this study, we performed reverse transcription-quantitative PCR analysis to examine the expression of miR-451 in clinical prostate cancer samples and cell lines. TargetScan Release 7.0 programs, luciferase reporter assay, and a rescue experiment were used to validate the direct target of miR-451. The protein expression of the miR-451 target was detected by Western blot. MTS cell viability assay, transwell migration assay, and modified Boyden chamber invasion assay were used to demonstrate the effects of increased miR-451 expression on prostate cancer cell growth, migration and invasiveness.
Results: We identified the decreased expression of miR-451 in clinical metastatic prostate cancer compared to localized primary prostate cancer and benign prostate. Consistently, we also observed the decreased expression of miR-451 in highly metastatic prostate cancer cell lines (C4-2 and PC3M) compared to their low metastatic counterparts (LNCaP and PC3). Furthermore, we confirmed the macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a direct target of miR-451 in prostate cancer and demonstrated a negative correlation between miR-451 and MIF expression in clinical prostate cancer samples. Functional studies showed increased miR-451 expression significantly suppressed cell growth, migration and invasiveness via targeting MIF. The effect of increased miR-451 expression can be reversed by overexpressing MIF in prostate cancer cells.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that miR-451 suppresses prostate cancer cell growth, migration and metastasis, which provides insight into the development of novel therapeutic approaches for prostate cancer treatment.