piR-31470 epigenetically suppresses the expression of glutathione S-transferase pi 1 in prostate cancer via DNA methylation

Ling Zhang, Xiannan Meng, Chun Pan, Feng Qu, Weidong Gan, Zou Xiang, Xiaodong Han, Dongmei Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Inactivation of glutathione S-transferase pi 1 (GSTP1) via hypermethylation is an early and common event in prostate carcinogenesis. Functional inactivation of GSTP1 increases the susceptibility to oxidative stress and enhance progression risk of the prostatic carcinoma. In this study, we hypothesized that the Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) could be a sequence-recognition and guidance molecule for induction of promoter methylation of GSTP1 facilitating prostate carcinogenesis. We found that piR-31470 was highly expressed in prostate cancer cells, and piR-31470 could bind to piwi-like RNA-mediated gene silencing 4 (PIWIL4) to form the PIWIL4/piR-31470 complex. This complex could bind to the nascent RNA transcripts of GSTP1, and recruit DNA methyltransferase 1, DNA methyltransferase 3 alpha and methyl-CpG binding domain protein 2 to initiate and maintain the hypermethylation and inactivation of GSTP1. Our data demonstrated that the overexpression of piR-31470 inhibited the levels of GSTP1 and increased vulnerability to oxidative stress and DNA damage in human prostate epithelial RWPE1 cells. In conclusion, this study characterized the roles of the PIWIL4/piR-31470 complex in the regulation of the transcription of GSTP1 by methylating the CpG island of GSTP1. This discovery may provide a novel therapeutic strategy by targeting piRNAs for the epigenetic treatment of prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109501
JournalCellular Signalling
Early online date16 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • DNA methylation
  • DNMTs
  • GSTP1
  • piR-31470
  • piwil4
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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