Heterochromatin protein 1γ (HP1γ) has been implicated in carcinogenesis of various cancer types. However, the role of HP1γ in prostate cancer (PCa) progression and the underlying molecular mechanisms remain largely unknown. We found that HP1γ is upregulated in PCa and elevated levels of HP1γ in PCa predict poor outcome. In addition, depletion of HP1γ in PCa cells not only repressed proliferation and induced apoptosis but also impaired tumorigenicity. We also found that c-Myc was capable of upregulating HP1γ by directly binding to the E-box element in the first intron of HP1γ gene, and the upregulated HP1γ, in turn, repressed the expression of miR-451a by enhancing H3K9 methylation at the promoter region of miR-451a. Furthermore, reduction of miR-451a significantly reversed HP1γ loss-induced PCa cell apoptosis, whereas miR-451a overexpression repressed cell survival by targeting and downregulating c-Myc. The association among c-Myc, HP1γ and miR-451a was further confirmed in human clinical samples. Therefore, we propose that an HP1γ/miR-451a/c-Myc regulatory circuitry exists in PCa cells and this circuit has a crucial role in PCa progression.Oncogene advance online publication, 2 October 2017; doi:10.1038/onc.2017.332.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/dianzheng_zhang/56/