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Oncol Res. 2019 Feb 7. doi: 10.3727/096504018X15372657298381. [Epub ahead of print]

NOTCH3 overexpression and post-transcriptional regulation by miR-150 were associated with EGFR-TKI resistance in lung adenocarcinoma.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Xuzhou Central Hospital, Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou 221009, China.
Department of Respiratory Medicine, The Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou 221002, China.
Department of Respiratory Medicine, Drum Tower Hospital Affiliated to Medical school of Nanjing University, Nanjing 210008, China.
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Drum Tower Hospital Affiliated to Medical School of Nanjing University, Nanjing 210008, China.


Acquired resistance remains a key challenge in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) therapy in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). Recent studies have shown that Notch signaling is associated with drug resistance. However, its role and possible mechanisms in EGFR-TKI resistance are not yet clear. In our study, we found that among 4 members of NOTCH1-4, only NOTCH3 was up-regulated in LUAD tissues and TKI-resistant cell line (HCC827GR6). Knockdown of NOTCH3 by siRNA significantly inhibited proliferative ability, decreased colony and sphere formation in HCC827GR6 cells. Then miR-150 was identified as a post-transcriptional regulator of NOTCH3, its expression was downregulated in LUAD tissues and negatively correlated with NOTCH3 mRNA. The cell proliferation and IC50 of gefitinib were decreased in HCC827GR6 cells transfected with miR-150 mimic, but was reversed when co-transfected with NOTCH3 over-expressed vector. Moreover, we also enrolled twenty patients with advanced LUAD who taken TKIs as first-line therapy in this study. We found that collagen 1A1 (COL1A1) expression was increased significantly in LUAD tissues both at mRNA and protein levels, and positively correlated with NOTCH3 expression verified in our data and TCGA data. Univariate survival analysis showed that patients with high protein expression of NOTCH3 or COL1A1 were associated with shorter overall survival (OS). Taken together, these results suggest that miR-150/NOTCH3/COL1A1 axis contributed to EGFR-TKI resistance in LUAD, which provide a potential therapeutic target for LUAD treatment.

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