miR-124 targets the androgen receptor (AR) transcript, acting as a tumor suppressor to broadly limit the growth of prostate cancer. In this study, we unraveled the mechanisms through which miR-124 acts in this setting. miR-124 inhibited proliferation of prostate cancer cells in vitro and sensitized them to inhibitors of androgen receptor signaling. Notably, miR-124 could restore the apoptotic response of cells resistant to enzalutamide, a drug approved for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer. We used xenograft models to examine the effects of miR-124 in vivo when complexed with polyethylenimine-derived nanoparticles. Intravenous delivery of miR-124 was sufficient to inhibit tumor growth and to increase tumor cell apoptosis in combination with enzalutamide. Mechanistic investigations revealed that miR-124 directly downregulated AR splice variants AR-V4 and V7 along with EZH2 and Src, oncogenic targets that have been reported to contribute to prostate cancer progression and treatment resistance. Taken together, our results offer a preclinical rationale to evaluate miR-124 for cancer treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research