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Int J Oncol. 2019 Jan 8. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2019.4679. [Epub ahead of print]

Long non‑coding RNA UCA1 confers tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer endocrinotherapy through regulation of the EZH2/p21 axis and the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.

Li Z1, Yu D2, Li H3, Lv Y1, Li S4.

Author information

1
Endocrinology and Metabolism Department, The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin 130021, P.R. China.
2
Cancer Center, The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin 130021, P.R. China.
3
Institute of Translational Medicine, The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin 130021, P.R. China.
4
Department of Breast Surgery, The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin 130021, P.R. China.

Abstract

Tamoxifen is the gold standard for breast cancer endocrinotherapy. However, drug resistance remains a major limiting factor of tamoxifen treatment. Long non‑coding (lnc) RNA serves an important role in drug resistance; however, the molecular mechanisms of tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer endocrinotherapy are largely unclear. lncRNA urothelial cancer associated 1 (lncRNA UCA1, UCA1) has been proven to be dysregulated in human breast cancer and promotes cancer progression. In the present study, it was demonstrated that UCA1 was significantly upregulated in breast cancer tissues compared with healthy tissues. Furthermore, the expression level of UCA1 was significantly greater in tamoxifen‑resistant breast cancer cells (LCC2 and LCC9) when compared with those in the tamoxifen‑sensitive breast cancer cells (MCF‑7 and T47D). UCA1 silencing in LLC2 and LLC9 cells increased tamoxifen drug sensitivity by promoting cell apoptosis and arresting the cell cycle at the G2/M phase. Notably, the induced overexpression of UCA1 in MCF‑7 and T47D cells decreased the drug sensitivity of tamoxifen. The molecular mechanism involved in UCA1‑induced tamoxifen‑resistance was also investigated. It was identified that UCA1 was physically associated with the enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), which suppressed the expression of p21 through histone methylation (H3K27me3) on the p21 promoter. In addition, it was demonstrated that UCA1 expression was paralleled to the phosphorylation of CAMP responsive element binding protein (CREB) and AKT. When LCC2 cells were treated with the phosphoinositide 3‑kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT) signaling pathway inhibitor LY294002, the phosphorylation levels of CREB and AKT were significantly downregulated. Taken together, it was concluded that UCA1 regulates the EZH2/p21 axis and the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway in breast cancer, and may be a potential therapeutic target for solving tamoxifen resistance.

PMID:
30628639
DOI:
10.3892/ijo.2019.4679

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