Epigenetic deregulation of miR-29a and miR-1256 by isoflavone contributes to the inhibition of prostate cancer cell growth and invasion.

PMID 22805767


The epigenetic regulation of genes has long been recognized as one of the causes of prostate cancer (PCa) development and progression. Recent studies have shown that a number of microRNAs (miRNAs) are also epigenetically regulated in different types of cancers including PCa. In this study, we found that the DNA sequence of the promoters of miR-29a and miR-1256 are partly methylated in PCa cells, which leads to their lower expression both in PCa cells and in human tumor tissues compared with normal epithelial cells and normal human prostate tissues. By real-time PCR, Western Blot analysis and miRNA mimic and 3'-UTR-Luc transfection, we found that TRIM68 is a direct target of miR-29a and miR-1256 and that the downregulation of miR-29a and miR-1256 in PCa cells leads to increased expression of TRIM68 and PGK-1 in PCa cells and in human tumor tissue specimens. Interestingly, we found that a natural agent, isoflavone, could demethylate the methylation sites in the promoter sequence of miR-29a and miR-1256, leading to the upregulation of miR-29a and miR-1256 expression. The increased levels of miR-29a and miR-1256 by isoflavone treatment resulted in decreased expression of TRIM68 and PGK-1, which is mechanistically linked with inhibition of PCa cell growth and invasion. The selective demethylation activity of isoflavone on miR-29a and miR-1256 leading to the suppression of TRIM68 and PGK-1 expression is an important biological effect of isoflavone, suggesting that isoflavone could be a useful non-toxic demethylating agent for the prevention of PCa development and progression.