miR-222 induces Adriamycin resistance in breast cancer through PTEN/Akt/p27kip1 pathway
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The high resistant rate of Adriamycin (Adr) is associated with a poor prognosis of breast cancer in women worldwide. Since miR-222 might contribute to chemoresistance in many cancer types, in this study, we aimed to investigate its efficacy in breast cancer through PTEN/Akt/p27 kip1 pathway. Firstly, in vivo, we verified that miR-222 was upregulated in chemoresistant tissues after surgery compared with the paired preneoadjuvant samples of 21 breast cancer patients. Then, human breast cancer Adr-resistant cell line (MCF-7/Adr) was constructed to validate the pathway from the parental sensitive cell line (MCF-7/S). MCF-7/Adr and MCF-7/S were transfected with miR-222 mimics, miR-222 inhibitors, or their negative controls, respectively. The results showed that inhibition of miR-222 in MCF-7/Adr significantly increased the expressions of PTEN and p27 kip1 and decreased phospho-Akt (p-Akt) both in mRNA and protein levels (p < 0.05) by using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and western blot. MTT and flow cytometry suggested that lower expressed miR-222 enhanced apoptosis and decreased the IC50 of MCF-7/Adr cells. Additionally, immunofluorescence demonstrated that the subcellular location of p27 kip1 was dislocated resulting from the alteration of miR-222. Conversely, in MCF-7/S transfected with miR-222 mimics, upregulation of miR-222 is associated with decreasing PTEN and p27 kip1 and increasing Akt accompanied by less apoptosis and higher IC50. Importantly, Adr resistance induced by miR-222 overexpression through PTEN/Akt/p27 was completely blocked by LY294002, an Akt inhibitor. Taken together, these data firstly elucidated that miR-222 could reduce the sensitivity of breast cancer cells to Adr through PTEN/Akt/p27 kip1 signaling pathway, which provided a potential target to increase the sensitivity to Adr in breast cancer treatment and further improved the prognosis of breast cancer patients.
KeywordsmiR-222 PTEN/Akt/p27 pathway Adr resistance Breast cancer
We thank Shan-liang Zhong and Wei-xian Chen for useful discussions and help in revision of the present paper. This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 81272470).
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Conflicts of interest
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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