Exp Mol Med.  2017 May;49(5):e327. 10.1038/emm.2017.33.

microRNA-200a-3p increases 5-fluorouracil resistance by regulating dual specificity phosphatase 6 expression

  • 1Department of Biochemistry, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea. leeek@catholic.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Medical Life Sciences, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea.
  • 3Cancer Evolution Research Center, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.
  • 4Department of Molecular Science and Technology, Ajou University, Suwon, South Korea.


Acquisition of resistance to anti-cancer drugs is a significant obstacle to effective cancer treatment. Although several efforts have been made to overcome drug resistance in cancer cells, the detailed mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. Here, we investigated whether microRNAs (miRNAs) function as pivotal regulators in the acquisition of anti-cancer drug resistance to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). A survey using a lentivirus library containing 572 precursor miRNAs revealed that five miRNAs promoted cell survival after 5-FU treatment in human hepatocellular carcinoma Hep3B cells. Among the five different clones, the clone expressing miR-200a-3p (Hep3B-miR-200a-3p) was further characterized as a 5-FU-resistant cell line. The cell viability and growth rate of Hep3B-miR-200a-3p cells were higher than those of control cells after 5-FU treatment. Ectopic expression of a miR-200a-3p mimic increased, while inhibition of miR-200a-3p downregulated, cell viability in response to 5-FU, doxorubicin, and CDDP (cisplatin). We also showed that dual-specificity phosphatase 6 (DUSP6) is a novel target of miR-200a-3p and regulates resistance to 5-FU. Ectopic expression of DUSP6 mitigated the pro-survival effects of miR-200a-3p. Taken together, these results lead us to propose that miR-200a-3p enhances anti-cancer drug resistance by decreasing DUSP6 expression.

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