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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Aug 4;106(31):12938-43. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0901451106. Epub 2009 Jul 21.

Identification of genes conferring resistance to 5-fluorouracil.

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  • 1Department of Human and Molecular Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA 23298, USA.

Abstract

Astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) is overexpressed in >90% of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients and plays a significant role in mediating aggressive progression of HCC. AEG-1 is known to augment invasion, metastasis, and angiogenesis, and we now demonstrate that AEG-1 directly contributes to another important hallmark of aggressive cancers, that is, resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs, such as 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). AEG-1 augments expression of the transcription factor LSF that regulates the expression of thymidylate synthase (TS), a target of 5-FU. In addition, AEG-1 enhances the expression of dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPYD) that catalyzes the initial and rate-limiting step in the catabolism of 5-FU. siRNA-mediated inhibition of AEG-1, LSF, or DPYD significantly increased the sensitivity of HCC cells to 5-FU in vitro and a lentivirus delivering AEG-1 siRNA in combination with 5-FU markedly inhibited growth of HCC cells xenotransplanted in athymic nude mice when compared to either agent alone. The present studies highlight 2 previously unidentified genes, AEG-1 and LSF, contributing to chemoresistance. Inhibition of AEG-1 might be exploited as a therapeutic strategy along with 5-FU-based combinatorial chemotherapy for HCC, a highly fatal cancer with currently very limited therapeutic options.

PMID:
19622726
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2722317
Free PMC Article

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