MALAT-1 as a potential target in treatment of progressive prostate cancer

A Shanghai-based research group has suggested that expression of MALAT-1 (metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1), which is a large, non-coding ribonucleic acid (RNA), may be involved in some way with progression toward castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).

Shansheng Ren et al. further suggest that “MALAT-1 may serve as a potential therapeutic target” for the treatment of men with CRPC.

The researchers evaluated the expression of MALAT-1 in prostate cancer tissues and cell lines and studied the effects of MALAT-1 in CRPC cells in vitro and in vivo. They were able to show that:

  • MALAT-1 is up-regulated in human prostate cancer tissues and cell lines.
  • Higher MALAT-1 expression is correlated with higher Gleason scores, higher PSA level, higher tumor stage, and the presence of CRPC.
  • Conversely, down-regulation of MALAT-1 by small interference RNA (siRNA) inhibits the growth, invasion, and migration of prostate cancer cells, and can induce cell cycle arrest in certain growth phases of CRPC cells.
  • Intra-tumoral delivery of therapeutic siRNA targeting MALAT-1 can delay tumor growth and reduce metastasis of prostate cancer xenografts in castrated male nude mice, followed by a concomitant prolongation of survival of tumor-bearing animals.

Obviously there is  along way to go before we will know whether such research can be shown to have therapeutic benefit in man, but it is always interesting to see early data on completely different types of therapeutic targets that may have impact in the progression of prostate cancer.

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