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Mol Cancer. 2019 Mar 30;18(1):71. doi: 10.1186/s12943-019-0969-3.

Circular RNA AKT3 upregulates PIK3R1 to enhance cisplatin resistance in gastric cancer via miR-198 suppression.

Author information

1
Department of General Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, 300 Guangzhou Road, Nanjing, 210029, Jiangsu province, China.
2
Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, The First Affiliated Yijishan Hospital of Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, Anhui, China.
3
Department of Neurosurgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.
4
Department of General Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, 300 Guangzhou Road, Nanjing, 210029, Jiangsu province, China. xuzekuan@njmu.edu.cn.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cisplatin (CDDP) treatment is one of the most predominant chemotherapeutic strategies for patients with gastric cancer (GC). A better understanding of the mechanisms of CDDP resistance can greatly improve therapeutic efficacy in patients with GC. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a class of noncoding RNAs whose functions are related to the pathogenesis of cancer, but, in CDDP resistance of GC remains unknown.

METHODS:

circAKT3 (hsa_circ_0000199, a circRNA originating from exons 8, 9, 10, and 11 of the AKT3 gene) was identified by RNA sequencing and verified by quantitative reverse transcription PCR. The role of circAKT3 in CDDP resistance in GC was assessed both in vitro and in vivo. Luciferase reporter assay, biotin-coupled RNA pull-down and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) were conducted to evaluate the interaction between circAKT3 and miR-198. Functional experiments were measured by western blotting, a cytotoxicity assay, clonogenic assay and flow cytometry.

RESULTS:

The expression of circAKT3 was higher in CDDP-resistant GC tissues and cells than in CDDP-sensitive samples. The upregulation of circAKT3 in GC patients receiving CDDP therapy was significantly associated with aggressive characteristics and was an independent risk factor for disease-free survival (DFS). Our data indicated that circAKT3 promotes DNA damage repair and inhibits the apoptosis of GC cells in vivo and in vitro. Mechanistically, we verified that circAKT3 could promote PIK3R1 expression by sponging miR-198.

CONCLUSIONS:

circAKT3 plays an important role in the resistance of GC to CDDP. Thus, our results highlight the potential of circAKT3 as a therapeutic target for GC patients receiving CDDP therapy.

KEYWORDS:

Circular RNA; Cisplatin resistance; Gastric cancer; PIK3R1; circAKT3; miR-198

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