Dysregulation of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) is involved in development of prostate cancer. However, the molecular mechanisms of many lncRNAs in prostate cancer have not been studied yet. The lncRNA Fer-1-like protein 4 (FER1L4) expression was explored in prostate tumors and normal prostate tissues by RT-qPCR and bioinformatic analysis. Overexpression of FER1L4 was performed to evaluate its role in prostate cancer cell proliferation and survival. The molecular mechanism of FER1L4 was investigated by dual luciferase reporter assay, RNA pull down assay, western blotting and RT-qPCR. It was found that FER1L4 was lower in prostate cancer tissues than normal tissues. Higher expression of FER1L4 was associated with prostate cancer tissues of early stage (AJCC stage I/II). Overexpression of FER1L4 inhibited cell proliferation and promoted cell apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. Bioinformatic analysis, RT-qPCR, RNA pull down assay and dual luciferase assay showed that FER1L4 upregulated F-box/WD repeat-containing protein 7 (FBXW7) tumor suppressor via sponging miR-92a-3p. Silencing of FBXW7 reversed the cell phenotypes caused by FER1L4 overexpression in prostate cancer cells. The data demonstrated that FER1L4, a downregulated lncRNA in prostate cancer, was pivotal for cell proliferation and survival of prostate cancer. The study provided new sights into understanding of the signaling network in prostate cancer and implied that FER1L4 might be a biomarker for patients with prostate cancer.
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