miR-211 modulates gemcitabine activity through downregulation of ribonucleotide reductase and inhibits the invasive behavior of pancreatic cancer cells

Maftouh M, Avan A, Funel N, Frampton AE, Fiuji H, Pelliccioni S, Castellano L, Galla V, Peters GJ, Giovannetti E
Nucleosides Nucleotides Nucleic Acids. 2014;33(4-6):384-93


Only a subset of radically-resected pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients benefit from gemcitabine-based chemotherapy, thus the identification of novel prognostic factors is essential. In a high-throughput, microRNA (miRNA) array, miR-211 emerged as the best discriminating miRNA, with high expression associated with long survival. Here, we further explored the biological role of miRNA-211 in gemcitabine activity in the human PDAC cells (SUIT-2) subclones SUIT2-007 and SUIT2-028.

Our results showed that miR-211 was expressed differentially in PDAC cells characterized by differential metastatic capability. In particular, S2-028 with lower metastatic ability had a higher expression of miR-211, compared to the S2-007 with higher metastatic capacity. Enforced expression of miR-211 via pre-miR-211 significantly reduced cell migration and invasion (e.g., 40% reduction of invasion of SUIT2 cells, compared to control; p<.05).

Moreover, we demonstrated that induction of the miR-211 expression in the cells increased the sensitivity to gemcitabine and reduced the expression of its target ribonucleotide reductase subunit 2 (RRM2). In conclusion, miR-211 functional analyses suggested the role of RRM2 as a target of miR-211 in the modulation of gemcitabine sensitivity. Moreover, inhibition of cell migration and invasion might explain the less aggressive behavior of pancreatic cancer cells with higher expression levels of miR-211.

Link: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24940696