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Up-regulated microRNA-143 in cancer stem cells differentiation promotes prostate cancer cells metastasis by modulating FNDC3B expression

Xinlan Fan14, Xu Chen2, Weixi Deng14, Guangzheng Zhong2, Qingqing Cai3* and Tianxin Lin124*

Author Affiliations

1 Center of medical research, Sun Yat-Sen memorial hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, 510120, China

2 Department of Urology, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, 510120, China

3 Department of Medical Oncology, Cancer Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510060, China

4 Key Laboratory of malignant tumor gene regulation and target therapy of Guangdong Higher Education Institutes, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510120, China

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BMC Cancer 2013, 13:61  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-61

Published: 5 February 2013



Metastatic prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related death in men. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are involved in tumor progression and metastasis, including in prostate cancer. There is an obvious and urgent need for effective cancer stem cells specific therapies in metastatic prostate cancer. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are an important class of pervasive genes that are involved in a variety of biological functions, especially in cancer. The goal of this study was to identify miRNAs involved in prostate cancer metastasis and cancer stem cells.


A microarray and qRT-PCR were performed to investigate the miRNA expression profiles in PC-3 sphere cells and adherent cells. A transwell assay was used to evaluate the migration of PC-3 sphere cells and adherent cells. MiR-143 was silenced with antisense oligonucleotides in PC-3, PC-3-M and LNCaP cells. The role of miR-143 in prostate cancer metastasis was measured by wound-healing and transwell assays in vitro and bioluminescence imaging in vivo. Bioinformatics and luciferase report assays were used to identify the target of miR-143.


The expression of miR-143 and the migration capability were reduced in PC-3 sphere cells and progressively increased during sphere re-adherent culture. Moreover, the down-regulation of miR-143 suppressed prostate cancer cells migration and invasion in vitro and systemically inhibited metastasis in vivo. Fibronectin type III domain containing 3B (FNDC3B), which regulates cell motility, was identified as a target of miR-143. The inhibition of miR-143 increased the expression of FNDC3B protein but not FNDC3B mRNA in vitro and vivo.


These data demonstrate for the first time that miR-143 was up-regulated during the differentiation of prostate cancer stem cells and promoted prostate cancer metastasis by repressing FNDC3B expression. This sheds a new insight into the post-transcriptional regulation of cancer stem cells differentiation by miRNAs, a potential approach for the treatment of prostate cancer.

miR-143; Prostate cancer; Cancer stem cells; Differentiation; Metastasis; FNDC3B