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Int J Oncol. 2015 Oct;47(4):1379-92. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2015.3144. Epub 2015 Aug 31.

MicroRNA-181a regulates epithelial-mesenchymal transition by targeting PTEN in drug-resistant lung adenocarcinoma cells.

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Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, P.R. China.
Faculty of Pharmacy, Bengbu Medical College, Bengbu, Anhui, P.R. China.
Department of Thoracic Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Bengbu Medical College, Bengbu, Anhui, P.R. China.


Chemoresistance is an inevitable occurrence in lung adenocarcinoma, which has been associated with decreased expression of the phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome ten (PTEN). Therefore, it is important to identify novel molecular mechanisms to suppress chemoresistance in lung adenocarcinoma cells. Paclitaxel- and cisplatin-resistant A549 lung carcinoma cell derivatives were developed by long-term serial culture. The metastatic properties of the cells were assessed using wound-healing assays, migration assays, invasion assays, morphological examination, and western blot analysis/RT-PCR of genes associated with the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). To identify novel regulators of EMT in A549 cells, differentially expressed miRNAs in drug-resistant cells were identified by microarray analysis. The role of miR-181a was established by transfection with specific mimic and inhibitor followed by functional assays. Luciferase assays were performed to assess the ability of miR-181a to target the PTEN promoter, and regulation of PTEN expression by miR-181a was assessed by western blot analysis and RT-PCR. Paclitaxel- and cisplatin-resistant A549 cells acquired metastatic properties and EMT phenotype and had reduced PTEN expression as compared to sensitive cells. miR‑181a was identified as a differentially expressed miRNA in drug-resistant A549 cells, and miR-181a mimic and inhibitor were shown to affect migration, invasion, morphology and expression of EMT-associated genes. PTEN was identified as a direct target of miR-181a. Our findings demonstrate that miR-181a expression in lung adenocarcinoma is associated with EMT progression, potentially through targeting of PTEN. Regulation of miR-181a may provide a novel strategy for overcoming resistance to paclitaxel and cisplatin in lung adenocarcinoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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