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A link between the fibroblast growth factor axis and the miR-16 family reveals potential new treatment combinations in mesothelioma


Schelch, Karin; Kirschner, Michaela B; Williams, Marissa; Cheng, Yuen Y; van Zandwijk, Nico; Grusch, Michael; Reid, Glen (2018). A link between the fibroblast growth factor axis and the miR-16 family reveals potential new treatment combinations in mesothelioma. Molecular Oncology, 12(1):58-73.

Abstract

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive malignancy with very limited therapeutic options. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signals play important roles in mesothelioma cell growth. Several FGFs and FGF receptors (FGFRs) are predicted targets of the miR-15/16 family, which is downregulated in MPM. The aim of this study was to explore the link between the miR-15/16 family and the FGF axis in MPM. Expression analyses via RT-qPCR showed downregulation of the FGF axis after transfection with miR-15/16 mimics. Direct interaction was confirmed by luciferase reporter assays. Restoration of miR-15/16 led to dose-dependent growth inhibition in MPM cell lines, which significantly correlated with their sensitivity to FGFR inhibition. Treatment with recombinant FGF2 prevented growth inhibition and further reduced the levels of FGF/R-targeting microRNAs, indicating a vicious cycle between miR-15/16 down- and FGF/FGFR signaling upregulation. Combined inhibition of two independent miR-15/16 targets, the FGF axis and Bcl-2, resulted in additive or synergistic activity. Our data indicate that post-transcriptional repression of FGF-mediated signals contributes to the tumor suppressor function of the microRNA-15/16 family. Inhibiting hyperactivated FGF signals and Bcl-2 might serve as a novel therapeutic combination strategy in MPM.

Abstract

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive malignancy with very limited therapeutic options. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signals play important roles in mesothelioma cell growth. Several FGFs and FGF receptors (FGFRs) are predicted targets of the miR-15/16 family, which is downregulated in MPM. The aim of this study was to explore the link between the miR-15/16 family and the FGF axis in MPM. Expression analyses via RT-qPCR showed downregulation of the FGF axis after transfection with miR-15/16 mimics. Direct interaction was confirmed by luciferase reporter assays. Restoration of miR-15/16 led to dose-dependent growth inhibition in MPM cell lines, which significantly correlated with their sensitivity to FGFR inhibition. Treatment with recombinant FGF2 prevented growth inhibition and further reduced the levels of FGF/R-targeting microRNAs, indicating a vicious cycle between miR-15/16 down- and FGF/FGFR signaling upregulation. Combined inhibition of two independent miR-15/16 targets, the FGF axis and Bcl-2, resulted in additive or synergistic activity. Our data indicate that post-transcriptional repression of FGF-mediated signals contributes to the tumor suppressor function of the microRNA-15/16 family. Inhibiting hyperactivated FGF signals and Bcl-2 might serve as a novel therapeutic combination strategy in MPM.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Thoracic Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Molecular Medicine
Life Sciences > Genetics
Health Sciences > Oncology
Life Sciences > Cancer Research
Language:English
Date:January 2018
Deposited On:22 Feb 2019 10:29
Last Modified:11 May 2020 18:33
Publisher:Wiley Open Access
ISSN:1574-7891
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/1878-0261.12150
PubMed ID:29094504

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