miRNA-205 targets VEGFA and FGF2 and regulates resistance to chemotherapeutics in breast cancer

Cell Death Dis. 2016 Jun 30;7(6):e2291. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2016.194.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have critical roles in regulating cancer cell survival, proliferation and sensitivity to chemotherapy. The potential application of using miRNAs to predict chemotherapeutic response to cancer treatment is highly promising. However, the underlying mechanisms of chemotherapy response control by miRNAs remain to be fully identified and their prognostic value has not been fully evaluated. Here we show a strong correlation between miR-205 expression and chemosensitivtiy to TAC (docetaxol, doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide), a widely-used neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) regimen, for breast cancer patients. High level of miR-205 predicted better response to TAC regimen NAC in breast cancer patients. We found miR-205 downregulated in both MCF-7/A02 and CALDOX cells, two drug-resistant derivatives of MCF-7 and Cal51 cells, and its ectopic expression led to an increase in apoptosis resensitization of both drug-resistant cell lines to doxorubicin and taxol. We further show that miR-205 directly binds VEGFA and FGF2 mRNA 3'-UTRs and confirm that miR-205 levels are negatively correlated with VEGFA and FGF2 mRNA expression in breast cancer patients. Adding VEGFA and FGF2 exogenously to chemosensitive breast cancer cells and chemoresistant cells with miR-205 overexpression led to drug resistance. Consistently, low VEGFA and FGF2 expression correlated with better response to NAC in breast cancer patients. In addition, inhibition of tumor growth and resensitization to doxorubicin were also observed in mouse tumor xenografts from cells overexpressing miR-205. Taken together, our data suggest that miR-205 enhances chemosensitivity of breast cancer cells to TAC chemotherapy by suppressing both VEGFA and FGF2, leading to evasion of apoptosis. MiR-205 may serve as a predictive biomarker and a potential therapeutic target in breast cancer treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Cytoprotection / drug effects
  • Down-Regulation / drug effects
  • Down-Regulation / genetics
  • Doxorubicin / pharmacology
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm* / drug effects
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm* / genetics
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Mice, Nude
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Paclitaxel / pharmacology
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects
  • Up-Regulation / genetics
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism*
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • MIRN205 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Doxorubicin
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Caspases
  • Paclitaxel