Resistance to chemotherapy in ovarian cancer is miRrored by the microRNA miR-433-dependent dysregulation of the cell cycle.

Weiner-Gorzel Karolina, Eugene Dempsey, Malgorzata Milewska, Aloysius McGoldrick, Valerie Toh, Aoibheann Walsh, Sinead Lindsay, Luke Gubbins, Aoife Cannon, Daniel Sharpe, Jacintha O'Sullivan, Madeline Murphy, Stephen F. Madden, Malcolm Kell, Amanda McCann, Fiona Furlong

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


An understanding of the mechanisms underlying the development of resistance to chemotherapy treatment is a gateway to the introduction of novel therapies and improved outcomes for women presenting with ovarian cancer (OC). The desired apoptotic death post-chemotherapy depends on an intact and fully functioning cell cycle machinery.

In this study we demonstrate that stable expression of miR-433 renders OC cells more resistant to paclitaxel treatment. Interestingly, only cells with the highest miR-433 survived paclitaxel suggesting the possible role of miR-433 in cancer recurrence. Importantly, for the first time we demonstrate that miR 433 induces cellular senescence, exemplified by a flattened morphology, the downregulation of phosphorylated Retinoblastoma (p Rb) and increased β galactosidase activity. Surprisingly, miR 433 induced senescence was independent of two well recognised senescent drivers: p21 and p16. Further in silico analysis followed by in vitro experiments identified CKD6 as a novel miR-433 target gene possibly explaining the observed p21 and p16-independent induction of cellular senescence. Another in silico identified miR-433 target gene was CDC27, a protein involved in the regulation of the cell cycle during mitosis. We demonstrate that the overexpression of pre-miR-433 leads to the downregulation of CDC27 in vitro revealing a novel interaction between miR-433 and CDC27, an integral cell cycle regulating protein.

Interestingly, miR-433 expressing cells also demonstrated an ability to impact their tumour microenvironment. We show that miR-433 is present in exosomes released from miR-433 overexpressing and high miR-433 naïve cells. Moreover, growth condition media (GCM) harvested from cells with high miR-433 have higher levels of IL-6 and IL-8, two key cytokines involved in the senescence associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Importantly, GCM from miR-433-enriched cells repressed the growth of co-cultured cells with initial studies showing a GCM-dependent induction of chemoresistance.

In conclusion, data in this study highlights how the aberrant expression miR-433 contributes to chemoresistance in OC cells. We postulate that standard chemotherapy, particularly paclitaxel, used to treat women with OC may have an attenuated ability to kill cells harbouring increased levels of miR-433, allowing for a subsequent chemoresistant phenotype post-therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2015
EventIrish Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2015 - Limerick, Ireland
Duration: 26 Feb 201527 Feb 2015


ConferenceIrish Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2015


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