MicroRNA-224 and its target CAMKK2 synergistically influence tumor progression and patient prognosis in prostate cancer
We previously demonstrated that microRNA (miR)-224 expression was significantly reduced in human prostate cancer (PCa) tissues and predicted unfavorable prognosis in patients. However, the underlying mechanisms of miR-224 have not been fully elucidated. In this study, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase 2 (CAMKK2) was identified as a target gene of miR-224. Then, we found that enforced expression of miR-224 could suppress PCa cell proliferation and cell cycle by regulating the expression of CAMKK2 in vitro. In addition, the expression levels of miR-224 in PCa tissues were negatively correlated with those of CAMKK2 mRNA significantly (Spearman’s correlation: r = −0.66, P = 0.004). Moreover, combined low miR-224 expression and high CAMKK2 expression (miR-224-low/CAMKK2-high) was closely correlated with advanced clinical stage (P = 0.028). Furthermore, PCa patients with miR-224-low/CAMKK2-high expression more frequently had shorter overall survival than those in groups with other expression patterns of two molecules. In conclusion, our data offer the convincing evidence that miR-224 and its target gene CAMKK2 may synergistically contribute to the malignant progression of PCa. Combined detection of miR-224 and CAMKK2 expressions represents an efficient predictor of patient prognosis and may be a novel marker which can provide additional prognostic information in PCa.