LncRNA XIST Contributes to Cisplatin Resistance of Lung Cancer Cells by Promoting Cellular Glycolysis through Sponging miR-101-3p

Pharmacology. 2021;106(9-10):498-508. doi: 10.1159/000512621. Epub 2021 Aug 5.


Background: Non-small-cell lung carcinoma is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers. Cisplatin (CDDP) is a currently applied standard anticancer agent for advanced lung cancers. Although effectively clinical response was achieved initially, a large fraction of lung cancer patients developed cisplatin resistance. Therefore, understanding the molecular mechanisms of chemoresistance is crucial for anti-lung cancer therapy. Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA)-X-inactive-specific transcript (XIST) has been reported to be positively associated with multiple cancers. Currently, the precise role and mechanism of XIST in cisplatin resistance of lung cancer have not been elucidated.

Methods: The expression levels of miR-101-3p and lncRNA XIST were detected by qRT-PCR. Cisplatin-resistant lung cancer cell line was established by selecting the survival cells under gradually increased cisplatin treatments. The cell proliferation was detected by MTT assay, and the cellular glucose metabolism rate was evaluated by Seahorse metabolic flux analysis and glucose uptake and lactate product assays. Glycolysis-related protein expression levels were detected by Western blot. Dual luciferase reporter was constructed to determine the lncRNA-miRNA interaction.

Results: Here, we report XIST is significantly upregulated in lung cancer tissues compared with normal lung tissues. In addition, cisplatin-resistant lung cancer cells displayed remarkably elevated XIST expression. We demonstrated that miR-101-3p functioned as a tumor suppressor in lung cancer and sensitized lung cancer cells to cisplatin. Bioinformatics analysis predicted miR-101-3p could be a potential target of XIST through direct binding with it as a competing endogenous RNA, which was further validated from lung tumor tissues and cell lines by luciferase assay. Intriguingly, XIST significantly promoted cellular glycolysis rate of lung cancer cells. The extracellular acidification rate, glucose uptake, and lactate product were elevated by XIST overexpression. On the contrary, miR-101-3p effectively suppressed glycolysis rate. Finally, we demonstrated silencing XIST significantly recovered miR-101-3p expression and downregulated expression of glycolysis key enzymes, a phenotype could be further overridden by miR-101-3p inhibition.

Conclusions: This study reveals a new molecular mechanism for the lncRNA-XIST-promoted cisplatin resistance via sponging miR-101-3p, leading to de-repression of cellular glycolysis. Moreover, these findings warrant further in vivo investigations to study XIST as a potential target to overcome cisplatin resistance.

Keywords: Cisplatin resistance; Long non-coding RNA-X-inactive-specific transcript; Lung cancer; Warburg effect; miR-101-3p.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cisplatin / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / biosynthesis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / biosynthesis*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • MIRN101 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • XIST non-coding RNA
  • Cisplatin