Role of microRNA-21 in radiosensitivity in non-small cell lung cancer cells by targeting PDCD4 gene
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Li-Peng Jiang1, Chun-Yan He2, Zhi-Tu Zhu3
1Department of Radiation Oncology, First Affiliated Hospital of Liaoning Medical University, Jinzhou 121000, P.R. China
2Department of Prosthodontics, Second Affiliated Hospital of Liaoning Medical University, Jinzhou 121000, P.R. China
3Department of Oncology, First Affiliated Hospital of Liaoning Medical University, Jinzhou 121000, P.R. China
Zhi-Tu Zhu, email: ZHUzhitu_806@163.com
Keywords: microRNA-21, PDCD4, non-small cell lung cancer, radiotherapy, PI3K
Received: April 09, 2016 Accepted: December 26, 2016 Published: February 23, 2017
This study aims to explore the effects of microRNA-21 (miR-21) on radiosensitivity in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) by targeting programmed cell deanth 4 (PDCD4) and regulating PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway. Cancer tissues and adjacent normal tissues were collected from 97 NSCLC patients who received a standard radiotherapy regimen. TUNEL assay was applied to determine cell apoptosis in tissues. The qRT-PCR assay was used to detect the expressions of miR-21 expression and PDCD4 mRNA. The protein expressions of PDCD4 and PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway-related proteins were determined by Western blotting. Colony formation assay was used to observe the sensitivity to radiotherapy of NSCLC cells. Flow cytometry was adopted to testify cell apoptosis. Compared with adjacent normal tissues, miR-21 expression was significantly increased and the mRNA and protein expressions of PDCD4 were decreased in NSCLC tissues. Higher miR-21 expression was associated with attenuated radiation efficacy and shorter median survival time. PDCD4 was the target gene of miR-21. The miR-21 mimics and siRNA-PDCD4 decreased the sensitivity to radiotherapy and cell apoptosis of A549 and H1299 cells and activated PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway. The sensitivity of A549 and H1299 cells was strengthened in the miR-21 inhibitors group and the PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors group. The siRNA-PDCD4 could reverse the effects of miR-21 inhibitors on sensitivity to radiotherapy and cell apoptosis of NSCLC cells. Our findings provide strong evidence that miR-21 could inhibit PDCD4 expression and activate PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway, thereby affecting the radiation sensitivity of NSCLC cells.
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