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Cancer Res. 2010 Mar 1;70(5):1793-803. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-3112. Epub 2010 Feb 9.

miR-181a and miR-630 regulate cisplatin-induced cancer cell death.

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Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, U848, Villejuif, France.


MicroRNAs (miRNA) are noncoding RNAs that regulate multiple cellular processes, including proliferation and apoptosis. We used microarray technology to identify miRNAs that were upregulated by non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) A549 cells in response to cisplatin (CDDP). The corresponding synthetic miRNA precursors (pre-miRNAs) per se were not lethal when transfected into A549 cells yet affected cell death induction by CDDP, C2-ceramide, cadmium, etoposide, and mitoxantrone in an inducer-specific fashion. Whereas synthetic miRNA inhibitors (anti-miRNAs) targeting miR-181a and miR-630 failed to modulate the response of A549 to CDDP, pre-miR-181a and pre-miR-630 enhanced and reduced CDDP-triggered cell death, respectively. Pre-miR-181a and pre-miR-630 consistently modulated mitochondrial/postmitochondrial steps of the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis, including Bax oligomerization, mitochondrial transmembrane potential dissipation, and the proteolytic maturation of caspase-9 and caspase-3. In addition, pre-miR-630 blocked early manifestations of the DNA damage response, including the phosphorylation of the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase and of two ATM substrates, histone H2AX and p53. Pharmacologic and genetic inhibition of p53 corroborated the hypothesis that pre-miR-630 (but not pre-miR-181a) blocks the upstream signaling pathways that are ignited by DNA damage and converge on p53 activation. Pre-miR-630 arrested A549 cells in the G0-G1 phase of the cell cycle, correlating with increased levels of the cell cycle inhibitor p27(Kip1) as well as with reduced proliferation rates and resulting in greatly diminished sensitivity of A549 cells to the late S-G2-M cell cycle arrest mediated by CDDP. Altogether, these results identify miR-181a and miR-630 as novel modulators of the CDDP response in NSCLC.

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