Molecular cancer therapeutics

MiRNA-203 Reduces Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Radioresistance by Targeting IL8/AKT Signaling.

PMID 26304234


Radioresistance poses a major challenge in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) treatment, but little is known about how miRNA (miR) regulates this phenomenon. In this study, we investigated the function and mechanism of miR-203 in NPC radioresistance, one of downregulated miRs in the radioresistant NPC cells identified by our previous microarray analysis. We observed that miR-203 was frequently downregulated in the radioresistant NPC tissues compared with radiosensitive NPC tissues, and its decrement significantly correlated with NPC radioresistance and poor patient survival, and was an independent predictor for reduced patient survival. In vitro radioresponse assays showed that miR-203 mimic markedly decreased NPC cell radioresistance. In a mouse model, therapeutic administration of miR-203 agomir dramatically sensitized NPC xenografts to irradiation. Mechanistically, we confirmed that IL8 was a direct target of miR-203, and found that reduced miR-203 promoted NPC cell radioresistance by activating IL8/AKT signaling. Moreover, the levels of IL8 and phospho-AKT were significantly increased in the radioresistant NPC tissues compared with radiosensitive NPC tissues, and negatively associated with miR-203 level. Our data demonstrate that miR-203 is a critical determinant of NPC radioresponse, and its decrement enhances NPC radioresistance through targeting IL8/AKT signaling, highlighting the therapeutic potential of the miR-203/IL8/AKT signaling axis in NPC radiosensitization.