miRNAs act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors in a wide variety of human cancers, including prostate cancer (PCa). We found a severe and consistent downregulation of miRNAs, miR-154, miR-299-5p, miR-376a, miR-376c, miR-377, miR-381, miR-487b, miR-485-3p, miR-495 and miR-654-3p, mapped to the 14q32.31 region in metastatic cell lines as compared with normal prostatic epithelial cells (PrEC). In specimens of human prostate (28 normals, 99 primary tumors and 13 metastases), lower miRNA levels correlated significantly with a higher incidence of metastatic events and higher prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, with similar trends observed for lymph node invasion and the Gleason score. We transiently transfected 10 members of the 14q32.31 cluster in normal prostatic epithelial cell lines and characterized their affect on malignant cell behaviors, including proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion. Finally, we identified FZD4, a gene important for epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in (PCa), as a target of miR-377.
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