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Oncotarget. 2017 Jul 11;8(34):57174-57186. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.19170. eCollection 2017 Aug 22.

MiR-223-3p inhibits angiogenesis and promotes resistance to cetuximab in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Author information

1
Université Côte d'Azur, INSERM, CNRS, IRCAN, Nice, France.
2
Head and Neck University Institute, Nice, France.
3
FHU OncoAge, Nice, France.
4
Laboratory of Clinical and Experimental Pathology, Pasteur Hospital, Nice, France.
5
Hospital-Related Biobank (BB-0033-00025), Pasteur Hospital, Nice, France.
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Contributed equally

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRs) participate in tumor growth and dissemination by regulating expression of various target genes. MiR-223-3p is suspected of being involved in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) growth although its precise role has not been elucidated. In this study, we showed that miR-223-3p is present in biopsies of HNSCC patients and that its presence is correlated with high neutrophil infiltrate. We found that overexpression of miR-223-3p slightly increased proliferation of the CAL27 squamous carcinoma cell line both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, miR-223-3p induced CAL27 apoptosis in an orthotopic xenograft mouse model, counteracting the proliferative effect and resulting in no impact on overall tumor growth. We analyzed the effect of miR-223-3p overexpression on signaling pathways and showed that it induced pERK2, pAKT and AKT, consistent with an increase in cell proliferation. In addition, we found that miR-223-3p reduced the STAT3 level correlating with increased cell apoptosis and inhibited vasculature formation. In HNSCC tissues, miR-223-3p expression was inversely correlated to CD31, highlighting the relationship between miR-223 and vessel formation. Finally, we studied the effect of miR-223-3p on response to selected anticancer agents and showed that cells expressing miR-223-3p are more resistant to drugs, notably cetuximab. In conclusion, our study is the first to show the antiangiogenic properties of miR-223-3p in HNSCC patients and to question whether expression levels of miR-223-3p can be evaluated as an indicator of eligibility for non-treatment of HNSCC patients with cetuximab.

KEYWORDS:

MiRs; anticancer agents; inflammation; neutrophils; tumors

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