Patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer are treated with taxane drugs, but eventually become drug resistant. We aimed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying paclitaxel resistance of hormone-refractory prostate cancer with a special focus on the roles of miR-34a and SIRT1.
Paclitaxel-resistant cells (PC3PR) were generated from hormone-refractory PC3 cells. The expression levels of mRNA and miRNA were determined by reverse transcriptase PCR and those of protein were by Western blot analysis. Transfection of miRNA precursor or siRNA was performed using the liposome-mediated method.
MiR-34a over-expression and SIRT1 knockdown attenuated paclitaxel resistance of PC3PR cells. MiR-34a expression was reduced in PC3PR cells compared with PC3 cells, while the expression levels of HuR and Bcl2 as well as SIRT1 were elevated in PC3PR cells. Luciferase reporter assays revealed that both SIRT1 3′-UTR and promoter activities were higher in PC3PR cells than in PC3 cells. Introduction of miR-34a precursor into PC3PR cells resulted in decreases in HuR, Bcl2, and SIRT1 expression and inhibition of the SIRT1 3′-UTR activity. HuR knockdown reduced SIRT1 and Bcl2 expression. These results suggest that miR-34a not only directly but also indirectly via regulating HuR expression acts on the 3′-UTR of SIRT1 and Bcl2 mRNAs, thereby controlling their expression. Thus, in PC3PR cells, reduced expression of miR-34a confers paclitaxel resistance via up-regulating SIRT1 and Bcl2 expression.
MiR-34a and its downstream targets SIRT1 and Bcl2 play important roles in the development of paclitaxel resistance, all of which can be useful biomarkers and promising therapeutic targets for the drug resistance in hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Prostate 70: 1501–1512, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.