The prostate is a gland of the male reproductive system, found only in mammals, which the main function is to produce part of the semen. The prostatic lesions arise generally in older men and the prostatic cancer (PCa) is the most diagnosed and the second cause of cancer death among men in America and Western Europe. PCa development and progression are slow processes and includes genetic and epigenetic alterations that promote an imbalance between molecular ways that control proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. This significant period of latency is considered an important time to adopt chemoprevention against PCa. Recently, the finasteride, a type 2 5-reductase inhibitor used in the benign prostatic hyperplasia treatment, was approved to be used in the PCa chemoprevention by the American Society of Urology. However, some medical academic communities think that more studies are necessary to approve the safety use of the finasteride in PCa chemoprevention. Recent studies have been shown that human tumors present epigenetic alterations, like altered micro-RNA expression. These small RNAs have been considered new oncogenes or tumor suppressors, which can be used as a major tool for cancer diagnosis, staging and prognosis. Currently, there are few studies relating the expression profile or the functional role of micro-RNAs in PCa. Thereby, considering the importance of PCa prevention and the doubts about finasteride effects, the aim of this project is to investigate finasteride effects over miR-221 oncogene and miR-16 tumor suppression, and the expression of their mRNA target p27 and BCl-2, respectively, in normal (RWPE-1) and tumoral (LNCaP) prostatic cells.
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