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Stem Cell Res Ther. 2018 Nov 23;9(1):327. doi: 10.1186/s13287-018-1072-1.

miR-181b/Notch2 overcome chemoresistance by regulating cancer stem cell-like properties in NSCLC.

Author information

1
The Department of Internal Medical Oncology, Harbin Medical University Cancer Hospital, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China.
2
The Department of Radiotherapy, Harbin Medical University Cancer Hospital, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China.
3
Pathology Department, Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, College of Medicine, Eastern Liaodong University, Dandong, Liaoning Province, China.
4
The Department of Internal Medical Oncology, Harbin Medical University Cancer Hospital, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China. zhaoyanbin1978@sina.com.
5
The Department of Internal Medical Oncology, Harbin Medical University Cancer Hospital, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China. wangyan86298263@163.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Lung cancer stem cells have the ability to self-renew and are resistant to conventional chemotherapy. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate and control the expression and function of many target genes; therefore, miRNA disorders are involved in the pathogenesis of human diseases, such as cancer. However, the effects of miRNA dysregulation on tumour stemness and drug resistance have not been fully elucidated. miR-181b has been reported to be a tumour suppressor miRNA and is associated with drug-resistant non-small cell lung cancer.

METHODS:

Cancer stem cell (CSC)-like properties were tested by a cell proliferation assay and flow cytometry; miR-181b expression was measured by real-time PCR; and Notch2 and related proteins were detected by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. A mouse xenograft model was also established.

RESULTS:

In this study, we found that ectopic miR-181b expression suppressed cancer stem cell properties and enhanced sensitivity to cisplatin (DDP) treatment by directly targeting Notch2. miR-181b could inactivate the Notch2/Hes1 signalling pathway. In addition, tumours from nude mice treated with miR-181b were significantly smaller than tumours from mice treated with control agomir. Decreased miR-181b expression and increased Notch2 expression were observed to have a significant relationship with overall survival (OS) and CSC-like properties in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study elucidates an important role of miR-181b in the regulation of CSC-like properties, suggesting a potential therapeutic target for overcoming drug resistance in NSCLC.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer stem cell-like properties; Chemosensitivity; MicroRNA-181b; Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); Notch2

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