Chemoresistance remains one of the major obstacles in clinical treatment of lung adenocarcinoma (LAD). Indeed, docetaxel-resistant LAD cells present chemoresistance and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition phenotypes. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are known to promote tumorigenesis in many cancer types. Here, we showed that the lncRNA colon cancer-associated transcript-1 (CCAT1) was upregulated in docetaxel-resistant LAD cells. Furthermore, downregulation of CCAT1 decreased chemoresistance, inhibited proliferation, enhanced apoptosis and reversed the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition phenotype of docetaxel-resistant LAD cells. We also found that the oncogenic function of CCAT1 in docetaxel-resistant LAD cells depended on the sponging of let-7c. In turn, the sponging of let-7c by CCAT1 released Bcl-xl (a let-7c target), thereby promoting the acquisition of chemoresistance and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition phenotypes in docetaxel-resistant LAD cells. Our data reveal a novel pathway underlying chemoresistance and the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in docetaxel-resistant LAD cells.
Keywords: chemoresistance; epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; let-7c; lncRNA CCAT1; lung adenocarcinoma (LAD).