Nat Commun 2016 08 16;7:12436. Epub 2016 Aug 16.
Department of Molecular Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Palle Juul-Jensens Boulevard 99, DK-8200 Aarhus, Denmark.
Oxaliplatin resistance in colorectal cancers (CRC) is a major medical problem, and predictive markers are urgently needed. Recently, miR-625-3p was reported as a promising predictive marker. Herein, we show that miR-625-3p functionally induces oxaliplatin resistance in CRC cells, and identify the signalling networks affected by miR-625-3p. We show that the p38 MAPK activator MAP2K6 is a direct target of miR-625-3p, and, accordingly, is downregulated in non-responder patients of oxaliplatin therapy. miR-625-3p-mediated resistance is reversed by anti-miR-625-3p treatment and ectopic expression of a miR-625-3p insensitive MAP2K6 variant. In addition, reduction of p38 signalling by using siRNAs, chemical inhibitors or expression of a dominant-negative MAP2K6 protein induces resistance to oxaliplatin. Transcriptome, proteome and phosphoproteome profiles confirm inactivation of MAP2K6-p38 signalling as one likely mechanism of oxaliplatin resistance. Our study shows that miR-625-3p induces oxaliplatin resistance by abrogating MAP2K6-p38-regulated apoptosis and cell cycle control networks, and corroborates the predictive power of miR-625-3p.