Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 12, pp 15643–15648 | Cite as

Norcantharidin induces autophagy-related prostate cancer cell death through Beclin-1 upregulation by miR-129-5p suppression

  • Wenjun Xiao
  • Bo Dai
  • Yao Zhu
  • Dingwei Ye
Original Article


Norcantharidin (NCTD) has an anticancer potential to allow it to be used in the treatment of some malignant cancers. However, whether NCTD may have similar anticancer effects on prostate cancer (PC) is unknown. Here, we aimed to examine the effects of NCTD on PC cells and the underlying mechanisms. We found that NCTD dose-dependently inhibited the PC cell growth, in either a cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay or a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Moreover, NCTD dose-dependently increased the PC cell autophagy, through upregulation of Beclin-1. Furthermore, the Beclin-1 protein, but not mRNA, was regulated by NCTD in PC cells, suggesting post-transcriptional control of Beclin-1 by NCTD. Finally, microRNA (miR)-129-5p was found to be regulated by NCTD, and bioinformatics analyses showed that miR-129-5p targeted the 3′-UTR of Beclin-1 mRNA to inhibit its translation, which was confirmed by luciferase reporter assay. Together, these data suggest that NCTD may upregulate Beclin-1 through suppression of miR-129-5p to induce autophagic cell death and cell proliferation arrest in PC cells. Our study sheds light on using NCTD as a novel treatment for PC.


Prostate cancer (PC) Norcantharidin (NCTD) Beclin-1 miR-129-5p Autophagy 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of UrologyFudan University Shanghai Cancer CenterShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical CollegeFudan UniversityShanghaiChina

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