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  • Publication
    Overexpression of the microRNA miR-433 promotes resistance to paclitaxel through the induction of cellular senescence in ovarian cancer cells
    Annually, ovarian cancer (OC) affects 240,000 women worldwide and is the most lethal gynecological malignancy. High-grade serous OC (HGSOC) is the most common and aggressive OC subtype, characterized by widespread genome changes and chromosomal instability and is consequently poorly responsive to chemotherapy treatment. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of the microRNA miR-433 in the cellular response of OC cells to paclitaxel treatment. We show that stable miR-433 expression in A2780 OC cells results in the induction of cellular senescence demonstrated by morphological changes, downregulation of phosphorylated retinoblastoma (p-Rb), and an increase in β-galactosidase activity. Furthermore, in silico analysis identified four possible miR-433 target genes associated with cellular senescence: cyclin-dependent kinase 6 (CDK6), MAPK14, E2F3, and CDKN2A. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that downregulation of p-Rb is attributable to a miR-433-dependent downregulation of CDK6, establishing it as a novel miR-433 associated gene. Interestingly, we show that high miR-433 expressing cells release miR-433 into the growth media via exosomes which in turn can induce a senescence bystander effect. Furthermore, in relation to a chemotherapeutic response, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis revealed that only PEO1 and PEO4 OC cells with the highest miR-433 expression survive paclitaxel treatment. Our data highlight how the aberrant expression of miR-433 can adversely affect intracellular signaling to mediate chemoresistance in OC cells by driving cellular senescence.
      521Scopus© Citations 116
  • Publication
    Mitogen-Inducible Gene-6 Mediates Feedback Inhibition from Mutated BRAF towards the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor and Thereby Limits Malignant Transformation
    BRAF functions in the RAS-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling cascade. Activation of this pathway is necessary to mediate the transforming potential of oncogenic BRAF, however, it may also cause a negative feedback that inhibits the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Mitogen-inducible gene-6 (MIG-6) is a potent inhibitor of the EGFR and has been demonstrated to function as a tumor suppressor. As MIG-6 can be induced via RAS-ERK signaling, we investigated its potential involvement in this negative regulatory loop. Focus formation assays were performed and demonstrated that MIG-6 significantly reduces malignant transformation induced by oncogenic BRAF. Although this genetic interaction was mirrored by a physical interaction between MIG-6 and BRAF, we did not observe a direct regulation of BRAF kinase activity by MIG-6. Interestingly, a selective chemical EGFR inhibitor suppressed transformation to a similar degree as MIG-6, whereas combining these approaches had no synergistic effect. By analyzing a range of BRAF mutated and wildtype cell line models, we could show that BRAF V600E causes a strong upregulation of MIG-6, which was mediated at the transcriptional level via the RAS-ERK pathway and resulted in downregulation of EGFR activation. This feedback loop is operational in tumors, as shown by the analysis of almost 400 patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). Presence of BRAF V600E correlated with increased MIG-6 expression on the one hand, and with inactivation of the EGFR and of PI3K/AKT signaling on the other hand. Importantly, we also observed a more aggressive disease phenotype when BRAF V600E coexisted with low MIG-6 expression. Finally, analysis of methylation data was performed and revealed that higher methylation of MIG-6 correlated to its decreased expression. Taken together, we demonstrate that MIG-6 efficiently reduces cellular transformation driven by oncogenic BRAF by orchestrating a negative feedback circuit directed towards the EGFR.
      206Scopus© Citations 7