Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most common type and most threatening head and neck cancer worldwide. Here, we aim to study the relationship between the WNT7A-β-Catenin signaling pathway and the chemotherapy resistance of OSCC patients. We analyzed 42 OSCC patients and 19 adjacent non-tumor tissues, evaluated the expression levels of WNT7A mRNA, and subsequently studied WNT7A dependent cisplatin resistance in OSCC cell line KB cells. Moreover, we also utilized an in vivo mouse model to validate our findings. We first found a significant upregulation of WNT7A mRNA in OSCC patients. Our results showed that the knockdown of WNT7A sensitized KB cells to cisplatin. Moreover, our results revealed that nuclear β-catenin was dramatically reduced and cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved PARP were dramatically induced when WNT7A was knocked down in cisplatin treated KB cells. Besides, we found that the knockdown of WNT7A significantly reduced the weight and volumes of xenograft tumors. Moreover, we examined apoptotic cells and found that the combination of WNT7A knockdown and cisplatin treatment resulted in many more apoptotic cells than cisplatin treatment alone, suggesting that the knockdown of WNT7A sensitized KB cells to cisplatin treatment in vivo. Our results revealed that inhibition of WNT7A-β-catenin signaling sensitizes OSCC to cisplatin, which has provided insights into the molecular diagnosis and treatment of OSCC.
Keywords: OSCC; WNT7A; cisplatin; drug resistance; β-Catenin.
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Conflict of interest statement
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