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British journal of cancer

microRNA expression signatures of gastrointestinal stromal tumours: associations with imatinib resistance and patient outcome.


PMID 25349971

Abstract

Gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) is mainly initialised by receptor tyrosine kinase gene mutations. Although the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib mesylate considerably improved the outcome of patients, imatinib resistance still remains a major therapeutic challenge in GIST therapy. Herein we evaluated the clinical impact of microRNAs in imatinib-treated GISTs. The expression levels of microRNAs were quantified using microarray and RT-qPCR in GIST specimens from patients treated with neoadjuvant imatinib. The functional roles of miR-125a-5p and PTPN18 were evaluated in GIST cells. PTPN18 expression was quantified by western blotting in GIST samples. We showed that overexpression levels of miR-125a-5p and miR-107 were associated with imatinib resistance in GIST specimens. Functionally, miR-125a-5p expression modulated imatinib sensitivity in GIST882 cells with a homozygous KIT mutation but not in GIST48 cells with double KIT mutations. Overexpression of miR-125a-5p suppressed PTPN18 expression, and silencing of PTPN18 expression increased cell viability in GIST882 cells upon imatinib treatment. PTPN18 protein levels were significantly lower in the imatinib-resistant GISTs and inversely correlated with miR-125a-5p. Furthermore, several microRNAs were significantly associated with metastasis, KIT mutational status and survival. Our findings highlight a novel functional role of miR-125a-5p on imatinib response through PTPN18 regulation in GIST.