Research Papers:

miR-143 or miR-145 overexpression increases cetuximab-mediated antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity in human colon cancer cells

Sofia E. Gomes, André E. S. Simões, Diane M. Pereira, Rui E. Castro, Cecília M. P. Rodrigues _ and Pedro M. Borralho

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:9368-9387. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7010

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Sofia E. Gomes1, André E. S. Simões1, Diane M. Pereira1, Rui E. Castro1, Cecília M. P. Rodrigues1, Pedro M. Borralho1

1Research Institute for Medicines (iMed.ULisboa), Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

Correspondence to:

Cecília M P Rodrigues, e-mail: [email protected]

Pedro M Borralho, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: miR-143, miR-145, cetuximab, ADCC, granzyme B

Received: July 16, 2015     Accepted: January 01, 2016     Published: January 25, 2016


miR-143 and miR-145 are downregulated in colon cancer. Here, we tested the effect of restoring these miRNAs on sensitization to cetuximab in mutant KRAS (HCT116 and SW480) and wild-type KRAS (SW48) colon cancer cells. We evaluated cetuximab-mediated antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) and the modulation of signaling pathways involved in immune effector cell-mediated elimination of cancer cells. Stable miR-143 or miR-145 overexpression increased cell sensitivity to cetuximab, resulting in a significant increase of cetuximab-mediated ADCC independently of KRAS status. Importantly, HCT116 cells overexpressing these miRNAs triggered apoptosis in result of cetuximab-mediated ADCC, effected by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (p < 0.01). This was associated with increased apoptosis and caspase-3/7 activity, and reduced Bcl-2 protein expression (p < 0.01). In addition, caspase inhibition abrogated cetuximab-mediated ADCC in HCT116 cells overexpressing either miR-143 or miR-145 (p < 0.01). Furthermore, Bcl-2 silencing led to high level of cetuximab-mediated ADCC, compared to control siRNA (p < 0.05). Importantly, granzyme B inhibition, abrogated cetuximab-mediated ADCC, reducing caspase-3/7 activity (p < 0.01). Collectively, our data suggests that re-introduction of miR-143 or miR-145 may provide a new approach for development of therapeutic strategies to re-sensitize colon cancer cells to cetuximab by stimulating cetuximab-dependent ADCC to induce cell death.

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