Long noncoding RNA HULC contributes to paclitaxel resistance in ovarian cancer via miR-137/ITGB8 axis

Open Life Sci. 2021 Jul 1;16(1):667-681. doi: 10.1515/biol-2021-0058. eCollection 2021.


Long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) highly upregulated in liver cancer (HULC) has been reported to be implicated in chemoresistance. However, the potential mechanism of HULC in paclitaxel (PTX)-resistant ovarian cancer (OC) remains undefined. The expression of RNAs and proteins was measured by quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blot assay. The PTX resistance and apoptotic rate were assessed via 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and flow cytometry, respectively. Furthermore, the interaction between miR-137 and HULC or integrin beta-8 (ITGB8) was predicted by miRcode and starBase v2.0 and then verified by dual luciferase reporter and RNA pull-down assays. In addition, the xenograft mice model was established to explore the effects of HULC in vivo. HULC was significantly upregulated and miR-137 was downregulated in PTX-resistant OC tissues and cells. Also, the HULC depletion suppressed tumor growth and PTX resistance in PTX-treated mice. miR-137 was verified as a target of HULC and directly targeted ITGB8. And HULC knockdown downregulated ITGB8 expression by targeting miR-137. miR-137 inhibitor or ITGB8 overexpression mitigated the suppressive impacts of HULC knockdown on PTX resistance. Collectively, HULC modulated ITGB8 expression to promote PTX resistance of OC by sponging miR-137.

Keywords: ITGB8; lncRNA HULC; miR-137; ovarian cancer; paclitaxel resistance.