Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy

The clinical relevance of the miR-197/CKS1B/STAT3-mediated PD-L1 network in chemoresistant non-small-cell lung cancer.

PMID 25597412


Programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1) has recently gained considerable attention for its role in tumor immune escape. Here, we identify a miR-197/CKS1B/STAT3-mediated PD-L1 network in chemoresistant non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), independent of immunoinhibitory signals. miR-197 is downregulated in platinum-resistant NSCLC specimens, resulting in the promotion of chemoresistance, tumorigenicity, and pulmonary metastasis in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistic investigations reveal that a miR-197-mediated CKS1B/STAT3 axis exerts tumor progression regulated by various oncogenic genes (Bcl-2, c-Myc, and cyclin D1), and PD-L1 is a putative biomarker of this axis. Furthermore, we demonstrate that a miR-197 mimic sensitizes PD-L1(high) drug-resistant cells to chemotherapy. These results indicate that the biological interaction between PD-L1 and chemoresistance occurs through the microRNA regulatory cascade. More importantly, expression levels of miR-197 are inversely correlated with PD-L1 expression (n = 177; P = 0.026) and are associated with worse overall survival (P = 0.015). Our discoveries suggest that the miR-197/CKS1B/STAT3-mediated network can drive tumor PD-L1 expression as a biomarker of this cascade, and miR-197 replacement therapy may be a potential treatment strategy for chemoresistant NSCLC.