Aberrant microRNA expression likely controls RAS oncogene activation during malignant transformation of human prostate epithelial and stem cells by arsenic
Ngalame, N.N.O.; Tokar, E.J.; Person, R.J.; Xu, Y.; Waalkes, M.P.
Toxicological Sciences An Official Journal of the Society of Toxicology 138(2): 268-277
ISSN/ISBN: 1096-0929 PMID: 24431212 DOI: 10.1093/toxsci/kfu002
Inorganic arsenic (iAs), a human carcinogen, potentially targets the prostate. iAs malignantly transforms the RWPE-1 human prostate epithelial line to CAsE-PE cells, and a derivative normal stem cell (SC) line, WPE-stem, to As-Cancer SC (As-CSC) line. MicroRNAs (miRNA) are noncoding but exert negative control on expression by degradation or translational repression of target mRNAs. Aberrant miRNA expression is important in carcinogenesis. A miRNA array of CAsE-PE and As-CSC revealed common altered expression in both for pathways concerning oncogenesis, miRNA biogenesis, cell signaling, proliferation, and tumor metastasis and invasion. The KRAS oncogene is overexpressed in CAsE-PE cells but not by mutation or promoter hypomethylation, and is intensely overexpressed in As-CSC cells. In both transformants, decreased miRNAs targeting KRAS and RAS superfamily members occurred. Reduced miR-134, miR-373, miR-155, miR-138, miR-205, miR-181d, miR-181c, and let-7 in CAsE-PE cells correlated with increased target RAS oncogenes, RAN, RAB27A, RAB22A mRNAs, and KRAS protein. Reduced miR-143, miR-34c-5p, and miR-205 in As-CSC correlated with increased target RAN mRNA, and KRAS, NRAS, and RRAS proteins. The RAS/ERK and PI3K/PTEN/AKT pathways control cell survival, differentiation, and proliferation, and when dysregulated promote a cancer phenotype. iAs transformation increased expression of activated ERK kinase in both transformants and altered components of the PI3K/PTEN/AKT pathway including decreased PTEN and increases in BCL2, BCL-XL, and VEGF in the absence of AKT activation. Thus, dysregulated miRNA expression may be linked to RAS activation in both transformants.