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Therapeutic Delivery of miR-29b Enhances Radiosensitivity in Cervical Cancer.

Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy (2019-04-29)
Tingting Zhang, Xiang Xue, Huixia Peng

Radioresistant cervical cancer is likely to give rise to local recurrence, distant metastatic relapse, and decreased survival rates. Recent studies revealed microRNA mediated regulation of tumor aggressiveness and metastasis; however, whether specific microRNAs regulate tumor radioresistance and can be exploited as radiosensitizing agents remains unclear. Here, we find that miR-29b could promote radiosensitivity in radioresistant subpopulations of cervical cancer cells. Notably, therapeutic delivery of miR-29b mimics via R11-SSPEI nanoparticle, whose specificity has been proved by our previous studies, can sensitize the tumor to radiation in a xenograft model. Mechanistically, we reveal a novel function of miR-29b in regulating intracellular reactive oxygen species signaling and explore a potential application for its use in combination with therapies known to increase oxidative stress such as radiation. Moreover, miR-29b inhibits DNA damage repair by targeting phosphate and tension homology deleted on chromsome ten (PTEN), and overexpression of PTEN could partially rescue miR-29b-mediated homologous recombination (HR)-DNA damage repair and increase radiosensitivity. These findings identify miR-29b as a radiosensitizing microRNA and reveal a new therapeutic strategy for radioresistant tumors.