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J Hematol Oncol. 2011 Sep 22;4:37. doi: 10.1186/1756-8722-4-37.

Suppressing miRNA-15a/-16 expression by interleukin-6 enhances drug-resistance in myeloma cells.


The bone marrow microenvironment facilitates the survival, differentiation, and proliferation of myeloma (MM) cells. This study identified that microRNA-15a and -16 expressions tightly correlated with proliferation and drug sensitivity of MM cells. miRNA-15a/-16 expression in MM cells was significantly increased after treatment with cytotoxic agents. The interaction of bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC) with MM cells resulted in decreased miRNA-15a/-16 expression and promoted the survival of the MM cells. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) produced by BMSCs suppressed the expression of miRNA-15a and 16 in a time- and dose- dependent pattern, with the suppression on miRNA-15a being more significant than on miRNA-16. miRNA-15a-transfected MM cells were found to be arrested in G1/S checkpoint, and the transfected MM cells had decreased growth and survival. In conclusion, our data suggest that via suppressing miRNA-15a and -16 expressions, IL-6 secreted by BMSCs promotes drug-resistance in myeloma cells.

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