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Radiation therapy is a common treatment for prostate cancer, however recurrence remains a problem. MicroRNA expression is altered in prostate cancer and may promote therapy resistance. Through bioinformatic analyses of TCGA and CPC-GENE patient cohorts, we identified higher miR-191 expression in tumor versus normal tissue, and increased expression in higher Gleason scores. In vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that miR-191 overexpression promotes radiation survival, and contributes to a more aggressive phenotype. Retinoid X receptor alpha, RXRA, was discovered to be a novel target of miR-191, and knockdown recapitulated radioresistance. Furthermore, treatment of prostate cancer cells with the RXRA agonist 9-cis-retinoic acid restored radiosensitivity. Supporting this relationship, patients with high miR-191 and low RXRA abundance experienced quicker biochemical recurrence. Reduced RXRA translated to a higher risk of distant failure after radiotherapy. Notably, this miR-191/RXRA interaction was conserved in a novel primary cell line derived from radiorecurrent prostate cancer. Together, our findings demonstrate that miR-191 promotes prostate cancer survival after radiotherapy, and highlights retinoids as a potential option to improve radiotherapy response.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer Lett

Publication Date



RXRA, microRNA, microRNA-191, primary prostate cancer, radiation resistance