Multidrug resistance (MDR) is the major cause of failure of gastric cancer chemotherapy. Members of the miR-17-92 cluster, including miR-19a/b, are considered oncomiRs and influence multiple aspects of the malignant phenotype of gastric cancer. However, the role of miR-19a/b in MDR in gastric cancer and its underlying mechanism remain unclear. In this study, we found that miR-19a/b were upregulated in MDR cell lines. Our results also showed that miR-19a/b upregulation decreased the sensitivity of gastric cancer cells to anticancer drugs. We further confirmed that miR-19a/b accelerated the ADR efflux of gastric cancer cells by increasing the levels of mdr1 and P-gp and that miR-19a/b suppressed drug-induced apoptosis by regulating Bcl-2 and Bax. Finally, we verified that PTEN, an inhibitor of AKT phosphorylation, is the functional target of miR-19a/b. Overall, these findings demonstrated that miR-19a/b promote MDR in gastric cancer cells by targeting PTEN.
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