BACKGROUND. Aberrant expressions of microRNAs, including upregulation of miR-141, are closely associated with the tumorigenesis of prostate cancer (PCa). The orphan receptor small heterodimer partner (Shp) is a co-repressor to androgen receptor (AR) and represses AR-regulated transcriptional activity. METHODS. Here, we investigated the correlation of Shp expression with the cellular level of miR-141 and its effects on AR transcriptional activity in non-malignant and malignant human prostate epithelial cell lines. RESULTS. We found that Shp was downregulated in multiple PCa cell lines. The mature form of miR-141 was upregulated in PCa cells. miR-141 could target 3'-untranslated region of Shp mRNA resulting in translational suppression and RNA degradation. Moreover, enforced expression of Shp or inhibition of miR-141 function by anti-miR-141 attenuated AR-regulated transcriptional activity in AR-responsive LNCaP cells. Phenethyl isothiocyanate, a natural constituent of many edible cruciferous vegetables, increased Shp expression, downregulated miR-141, and inhibited AR transcriptional activity in LNCaP cells. CONCLUSIONS. Shp is a target for miR-141 and it is downregulated in cultured human PCa cells with the involvement of upregulation of miR-141, which promotes AR transcriptional activity. Moreover, Shp and miR-141 could be targets for chemoprevention for PCa.
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