Research Papers:

Fas signaling promotes chemoresistance in gastrointestinal cancer by up-regulating P-glycoprotein

Haoxuan Zheng _, Zhizhong Liu, Tao Liu, Yidong Cai, Yadong Wang, Shiyong Lin, Jinmin Chen, Jing Wang, Zhiqing Wang and Bo Jiang

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:10763-10777. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2498

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Haoxuan Zheng1,*, Zhizhong Liu1,2,*, Tao Liu1,*, Yidong Cai1,3,*, Yadong Wang1, Shiyong Lin1,4, Jinmin Chen1, Jing Wang1, Zhiqing Wang1, Bo Jiang1

1 Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Gastroenterology, Department of Gastroenterology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China

2Department of Gastroenterology, the Second People’s Hospital of Zhuhai, Zhuhai 519020, China

3Department of Gastroenterology, Xiyuan Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100091, China

4 Department of Endoscopy and Laser, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center; State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China; Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou 510060, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Haoxuan Zheng, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: Fas signaling, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, chemoresistance, gastrointestinal cancer

Received: July 09, 2014     Accepted: September 16, 2014     Published: October 15, 2014


Fas signaling promotes metastasis of gastrointestinal (GI) cancer cells by inducing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and EMT acquisition has been found to cause cancer chemoresistance. Here, we demonstrated that the response to chemotherapy of GI cancer patients with higher expression of FasL was significantly worse than patients with lower expression. Fas-induced activation of the ERK1/2-MAPK pathway decreased the sensitivity of GI cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents and promoted the expression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp). FasL promoted chemoresistance of GI cancer cell via upregulation of P-gp by increasing β-catenin and decreasing miR-145. β-catenin promoted P-gp gene transcription by binding with P-gp promoter while miR-145 suppressed P-gp expression by interacting with the mRNA 3’UTR of P-gp. Immunostaining and qRT-PCR analysis of human GI cancer samples revealed a positive association among FasL, β-catenin, and P-gp, but a negative correlation between miR-145 and FasL or P-gp. Altogether, our results showed Fas signaling could promote chemoresistance in GI cancer through modulation of P-gp expression by β-catenin and miR-145. Our findings suggest that Fas signaling-based cancer therapies should be administered cautiously, as activation of this pathway may not only lead to apoptosis but also induce chemoresistance.

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