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Up-regulation of miR-21 mediates resistance to trastuzumab therapy for breast cancer.


ABSTRACT: Trastuzumab resistance emerges to be a major issue in anti-human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) therapy for breast cancers. Here, we demonstrated that miR-21 expression was up-regulated and its function was elevated in HER2(+) BT474, SKBR3, and MDA-MB-453 breast cancer cells that are induced to acquire trastuzumab resistance by long-term exposure to the antibody, whereas protein expression of the PTEN gene, a miR-21 target, was reduced. Blocking the action of miR-21 with antisense oligonucleotides re-sensitized the resistant cells to the therapeutic activities of trastuzumab by inducing growth arrest, proliferation inhibition, and G(1)-S cell cycle checking in the presence of the antibody. Ectopic expression of miR-21 in HER2(+) breast cancer cells confers resistance to trastuzumab. Rescuing PTEN expression with a p3XFLAG-PTEN-mut construct with deleted miR-21 targeting sequence at its 3' UTR restored the growth inhibition of trastuzumab in the resistant cells by inducing PTEN activation and AKT inhibition. In vivo, administering miR-21 antisense oligonucleotides restored trastuzumab sensitivity in the resistant breast cancer xenografts by inducing PTEN expression, whereas injection of miR-21 mimics conferred trastuzumab resistant in the sensitive breast tumors via PTEN silence. Up-regulatin of miR-21 in tumor biopsies obtained from patients receiving pre-operative trastuzumab therapy was associated with poor trastuzumab response. Therefore, miR-21 overexpression contributes to trastuzumab resistance in HER2(+) breast cancers and antagonizing miR-21 demonstrates therapeutic potential by sensitizing the malignancy to anti-HER2 treatment.

SUBMITTER: Gong C 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3099726 | BioStudies | 2011-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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