Prostate cancer (CaP) progresses to a castration-resistant state assisted by multifold molecular changes, most of which involve activation of the androgen receptor (AR). Having previously demonstrated the importance of the Lin28/let-7/Myc axis in CaP, we tested the hypothesis that Lin28 is overexpressed in CaP and that it activates AR and promotes growth of CaP cells. We analyzed human clinical CaP samples for the expression of Lin28 by quantitative real-time RT-PCR, Western blot analysis, and IHC. Growth characteristics of CaP cell lines transiently and stably expressing Lin28 were examined. The clonogenic ability of CaP cells expressing Lin28 was determined by colony formation and soft agar assays. Increase in expression of AR and subsequent increase in transcription of AR-target genes were analyzed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR, luciferase assays, and ELISA. LNCaP cells stably expressing Lin28 were injected into nude mice, and tumorigenesis was monitored. We found that Lin28 is overexpressed in clinical CaP compared to benign prostates. Overexpression of Lin28 enhanced, while down-regulation reduced, growth of CaP cells. Lin28 enhanced the ability of CaP cells to form colonies in anchorage-dependent and anchorage-independent conditions. LNCaP cells stably expressing Lin28 exhibited significantly higher tumorigenic ability in vivo. Lin28 induced expression of the AR and its target genes such as PSA and NKX3.1. Collectively, our findings demonstrate a novel role for Lin28 in CaP development and activation of the AR axis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine