Transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) is enriched in the bone matrix and serves as a key factor in promoting bone metastasis in cancer. In addition, TGFβ signaling activates mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) functions, which is important for the malignant progression. Here, we demonstrate that TGFβ regulates the level of microRNA-96 (miR-96) through Smad-dependent transcription and that miR-96 promotes the bone metastasis in prostate cancer. The enhanced effects in cellular growth and invasiveness suggest that miR-96 functions as an oncomir/and metastamir. Supporting this idea, we identified a downstream target of the TGFβ-miR-96 signaling pathway to be AKT1S1 mRNA, whose translated protein is a negative regulator of mTOR kinase. Our findings provide a novel mechanism accounting for the TGFβ signaling and bone metastasis.
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