MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression through the endogenous RNA interference machinery. Treatments with combination of chemotherapy with surgery are essential for advanced-stage colorectal cancer. However, the development of chemoresistance is a major obstacle for clinical application of anticancer drugs. In this study, we report a miR-203-SIK2 axis that involves in the regulation of Taxol sensitivity in colon cancer cells. MiR-203 is downregulated in human colon tumor specimens and cell lines compared with their normal counterparts. We report miR-203 is correlated with Taxol sensitivity: overexpression of miR-203 sensitizes colon cancer cells and the Taxol-resistant cells display downregulated miR-203 compared with Taxol-sensitive cells. We identify SIK2 as a direct target of miR-203 in colorectal cancer cells. Overexpression of miR-203 complementary pairs to the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of SIK2, leading to the sensitization of Taxol resistant cells. In addition, miR-203 and the salt-inducible kinase 2 (SIK2) are reverse expressed in human colorectal tumors. Finally, we demonstrate recovery of SIK2 by overexpression of SIK2-desensitized Taxol-resistant cells, supporting the miR-203-mediated sensitization to Taxol, is through the inhibition of SIK2. In general, our study will provide mechanisms of the microRNA-based anti-tumor therapy to develop anti-chemoresistance drugs.
Keywords: Chemosensitivity; Colorectal cancer; MicroRNA-203; SIK2; Taxol resistance.