Objective: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients with truly chemosensitive disease still represent a minority among all TNBC patients. The aim of the present study is to identify microRNAs (miRNAs) that correlate with TNBC chemoresistance.
Methods: In this study, we conducted miRNAs profile comparison between triple-negative breast cancer (TNBCs) and normal breast tissues by microRNA array. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was utilized to confirm the specific deregulated miRNAs change trend. We used starBase 2.1 and GOrilla to predict the potential targets of the specific miRNAs. Cells viability and apoptosis assays were employed to determine the effect of alteration of the specific miRNAs in TNBC cells on the chemosensitivity.
Results: We identified 11 specific deregulated miRNAs, including 5 up-regulated miRNAs (miR-155-5p, miR-21-3p, miR-181a-5p, miR-181b-5p, and miR-183-5p) and 6 down-regulated miRNAs (miR-10b-5p, miR-451a, miR-125b-5p, miR-31-5p, miR-195-5p and miR-130a-3p). Thereafter, this result was confirmed by qRT-PCR. We predicted the potential targets of the candidate miRNAs and found that they are involved in cancer-associated pathways. For the first time, we found that miR-130a-3p and miR-451a were down-regulated in TNBC. 9 of the 11 specific deregulated miRNAs were found to be associated with chemoresistance. In vitro assays, we found that up-regulation of either miR-130a-3p or miR-451a in MDA-MB-231 cells significantly changed the cells sensitivity to doxorubicin. The results suggest that TNBC chemotherapy might be affected by a cluster of miRNAs.
Conclusion: The abnormal expression miRNAs in TNBC are mainly chemoresistance related. This might be part of reason that TNBC likely to evade from chemotherapy resulting in early relapse and high risk of death. To alter their expression status might be a potential therapeutic strategy to improve the outcome of chemotherapy for TNBC patients.