Cancer chemoresistance and metastasis are tightly associated features. However, whether they share common molecular mechanisms and thus can be targeted with one common strategy remain unclear in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Here, we report that high levels of microRNA-128-3p (miR-128-3p) is key to concomitant development of chemoresistance and metastasis in residual NSCLC cells having survived repeated chemotherapy and correlates with chemoresistance, aggressiveness and poor prognosis in NSCLC patients. Mechanistically, miR-128-3p induces mesenchymal and stemness-like properties through downregulating multiple inhibitors of Wnt/β-catenin and TGF-β pathways, leading to their overactivation. Importantly, antagonism of miR-128-3p potently reverses metastasis and chemoresistance of highly malignant NSCLC cells, which could be completely reversed by restoring Wnt/β-catenin and TGF-β activities. Notably, correlations among miR-128-3p levels, activated β-catenin and TGF-β signalling, and pro-epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition/pro-metastatic protein levels are validated in NSCLC patient specimens. These findings suggest that miR-128-3p might be a potential target against both metastasis and chemoresistance in NSCLC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)