MicroRNA-200c-3p/ZEB2 loop plays a crucial role in the tumor progression of prostate carcinoma

Jiayi Zhang, Hengcheng Zhang, Yuan Qin, Chen Chen, Jie Yang, Ninghong Song, Min Gu


Background: The microRNA (miRNA) miR-200c-3p is involved in the tumorigenesis and progression of a variety of cancers. However, the underlying regulatory role of miR-200c-3p in prostate cancer (PCa) remains unclear.
Methods: Online databases including Oncomine, Linkedomics and StarBase were used to investigate the clinical significance of miR-200c-3p, along with associated gene targets. PCa tissues and adjacent normal tissues were used for the detection of miR-200c-3p expression. A lentivirus overexpressing miR-200c-3p was constructed and transfected into PC3 and DU145 cells. Cell formation of proliferation, migration, and invasion were determined by cell viability and colony-formation assay, wound healing assay, and Matrigel invasion assay, respectively. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-associated markers were determined by qRT-PCR and Western blot. A luciferase reporter assay was performed to determine the direct relationship of miR-200c-3p and ZEB2. The tumor-suppressive role of miR-200c-3p was further confirmed by a xenograft tumor model and immunohistochemical (IHC) staining.
Results: Online database analyses showed that miR-200c-3p was associated with pathologic T and N stage in PCa, and miR-200c-3p was downregulated in PCa tissues. Overexpression of miR-200c-3p was considered a tumor suppressor and was found to significantly suppress the formation of migration and invasion in PCa cells via repression of E-cadherin-induced EMT. The bioinformatic database indicated that ZEB2 has a significant correlation with miR-200c-3p and was upregulated in PCa tissues. Further, ZEB2 expression was suppressed by the upregulation of miR-200c-3p and was identified as a direct target of miR-200c-3p. In addition, repression of ZEB2 could restore the levels of miR-200c-3p in PCa cells in turn, suggesting a potential negative loop between miR-200c-3p and ZEB2. miR-200c-3p also had an antitumor effect by negatively regulating ZEB2 in a xenograft mouse model.
Conclusions: Taken together, the results of our study demonstrated the novel regulatory loop of miR-200c-3/ZEB2 in PCa progression, providing effective therapeutic strategies for PCa in the future.