Mir-17* suppresses tumorigenicity of prostate cancer by inhibiting mitochondrial antioxidant enzymes

Yong Xu, Fang Fang, Jiayou Zhang, Sajni Josson, William H.St Clair, Daret K.St Clair

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75 Scopus citations


Aberrant micro RNA (miRNA) expression has been implicated in the pathogenesis of cancer. Recent studies have shown that the miR-17-92 cluster is overexpressed in many types of cancer. The oncogenic function of mature miRNAs encoded by the miR-17-92 cluster has been identified from the 59 arm of six precursors. However, the function of the miRNAs produced from the 39 arm of these precursors remains unknown. The present study demonstrates that miR-17* is able to suppress critical primary mitochondrial antioxidant enzymes, such as manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), glutathione peroxidase-2 (GPX2) and thioredoxin reductase-2 (TrxR2). Transfection of miR-17* into prostate cancer PC-3 cells significantly reduces levels of the three antioxidant proteins and activity of the luciferase reporter under the control of miR-17* binding sequences located in the 39-untranslated regions of the three target genes. Disulfiram (DSF), a dithiolcarbomate drug shown to have an anticancer effect, induces the level of mature miR-17* and cell death in PCa cells, which can be attenuated by transfection of antisense miR-17*. Increasing miR-17* level in PC-3 cells by a Tet-on based conditional expression system markedly suppresses its tumorigencity. These results suggest that miR-17* may suppress tumorigenicity of prostate cancer through inhibition of mitochondrial antioxidant enzymes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14356
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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