Transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of Sprouty1, a receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor in prostate cancer

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Sprouty1 (Spry1) is a negative regulator of fibroblast growth factor signaling with a potential tumor suppressor function in prostate cancer (PCa). Spry1 is downregulated in human PCa, and Spry1 expression can markedly inhibit PCa proliferation in vitro. We have reported DNA methylation as a mechanism for controlling Spry1 expression. However, promoter methylation does not seem to explain gene silencing in all PCa cases studied to suggest other mechanisms of gene inactivation, such as alterations in trans-acting factors and/or post-transcriptional activity may be responsible for the decreased expression in those cases. Binding sites for Wilm's tumor (WT1) transcription factors EGR1, EGR3 and WTE are highly conserved between the mouse and human Spry1 promoter regions, suggesting an evolutionary conserved mechanism(s) involving WT1 and EGR in Spry1 regulation. Spry1 mRNA contains multiple microRNA (miRNA) binding sites in its 3′UTR region suggesting post-transcriptional control. We demonstrate that Spry1 is a target for miR-21-mediated gene silencing. miRNA-based therapeutic approaches to treat cancer are emerging. Spry1 is highly regulated by miRNAs and could potentially be an excellent candidate for such approaches. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

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