Long Non-Coding RNA DLEU1 Up-Regulates BIRC6 Expression by Competitively Sponging miR-381-3p to Promote Cisplatin Resistance in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

Onco Targets Ther. 2020 Mar 9;13:2037-2045. doi: 10.2147/OTT.S237456. eCollection 2020.


Background: Cisplatin (DDP) resistance has become an obstacle to chemotherapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients. Recent evidences indicate that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are involved in tumorigenesis and chemoresistance. However, the potential role of lncRNAs in NPC progression remains largely unknown.

Methods: First, lncRNA expression profiling in NPC was performed via microarray analysis. To explore the involvement of DLEU1 in DDP resistance, loss-of-function experiments were employed in vitro and in vivo. Bioinformatics analysis, luciferase reporter assay, qRT-PCR, and Western blot assays were used to investigate the underlying mechanisms.

Results: Here, we identified 153 differentially expressed lncRNAs. Among them, DLEU1 was remarkably up-regulated in NPC tissues and associated with worse outcome. Knock-down of DLEU1 could sensitize NPC cells to DDP in vitro and in vivo. Further investigations revealed that DLEU1 positively regulated BIRC6 expression via its competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) activity on miR-381-3p. We also observed that BIRC6 overexpression or miR-381-3p silence could significantly reverse DLEU1-dependent DDP resistance.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that DLEU1 acts as an oncogene to promote DDP resistance and BIRC6 expression in NPC through interacting with miR-381-3p, which may help to develop new strategy against NPC chemoresistance.

Keywords: BIRC6; DLEU1; cisplatin resistance; nasopharyngeal carcinoma.