Cancer Lett. 2021 Oct 2:S0304-3835(21)00502-4. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2021.09.041. Online ahead of print.
Sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP-1), a master transcription factor in lipogenesis and lipid metabolism, is critical for disease progression and associated with poor outcomes in prostate cancer (PCa) patients. However, the mechanism of SREBP-1 regulation in PCa remains elusive. Here we report that SREBP-1 is transcriptionally regulated by microRNA-21 (miR-21) in vitro in cultured cells and in vivo in mouse models. We observed aberrant upregulation of SREBP-1, fatty acid synthase (FASN) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) in Pten/Trp53 double-null mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and Pten/Trp53 double-null mutant mice. Strikingly, miR-21 loss significantly reduced cell proliferation and suppressed the prostate tumorigenesis of Pten/Trp53 mutant mice. Mechanistically, miR-21 inactivation decreased the levels of SREBP-1, FASN and ACC in human PCa cells through downregulation of insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1)-mediated transcription and induction of cellular senescence. Conversely, miR-21 overexpression increased cell proliferation and migration as well as the levels of IRS1, SREBP-1, FASN and ACC in human PCa cells. Our findings reveal that miR-21 promotes PCa progression by activating the IRS1/SREBP-1 axis, and targeting miR-21/SREBP-1 signaling pathway can be a novel strategy of controlling PCa malignancy.