Journal of cellular and molecular medicine

RPA3 is a potential marker of prognosis and radioresistance for nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

PMID 28557284


Radioresistance-induced residual and recurrent tumours are the main cause of treatment failure in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Thus, the mechanisms of NPC radioresistance and predictive markers of NPC prognosis and radioresistance need to be investigated and identified. In this study, we identified RPA3 as a candidate radioresistance marker using RNA-seq of NPC samples. In vitro studies further confirmed that RPA3 affected the radiosensitivity of NPC cells. Specifically, the overexpression of RPA3 enhanced radioresistance and the capacity for DNA repair of NPC cells, whereas inhibiting RPA3 expression sensitized NPC cells to irradiation and decreased the DNA repair capacity. Furthermore, the overexpression of RPA3 enhanced RAD51 foci formation in NPC cells after irradiation. Immunohistochemical assays in 104 NPC specimens and 21 normal epithelium specimens indicated that RPA3 was significantly up-regulated in NPC tissues, and a log-rank test suggested that in patients with NPC, high RPA3 expression was associated with shorter overall survival (OS) and a higher recurrence rate compared with low expression (5-year OS rates: 67.2% versus 86.2%; 5-year recurrence rates: 14.8% versus 2.3%). Moreover, TCGA data also indicated that high RPA3 expression correlated with poor OS and a high recurrence rate in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSC) after radiotherapy. Taken together, the results of our study demonstrated that RPA3 regulated the radiosensitivity and DNA repair capacity of NPC cells. Thus, RPA3 may serve as a new predictive biomarker for NPC prognosis and radioresistance to help guide the diagnosis and individualized treatment of patients with NPC.

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