J Cancer 2020; 11(13):3882-3892. doi:10.7150/jca.43446

Research Paper

LncRNA UCA1 promotes cisplatin resistance in gastric cancer via recruiting EZH2 and activating PI3K/AKT pathway

Qingqiang Dai1, Tianqi Zhang1, Jiaomeng Pan2, Chen Li1✉

1. Department of Surgery, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Gastric Neoplasms, Shanghai Institute of Digestive Surgery, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, People's Republic of China.
2. Department of Liver Surgery and Transplantation, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032 China.

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Dai Q, Zhang T, Pan J, Li C. LncRNA UCA1 promotes cisplatin resistance in gastric cancer via recruiting EZH2 and activating PI3K/AKT pathway. J Cancer 2020; 11(13):3882-3892. doi:10.7150/jca.43446. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v11p3882.htm

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Background: Drug resistance of cancer cells is one of the major causes of chemotherapy failure. Recently research demonstrated that long non-coding RNA Urothelial cancer associated 1 (UCA1) could promote tumor cisplatin resistance. In this study, we aim to investigate the role of UCA1 in the cisplatin treatment of gastric cancer and its underlying mechanism.

Methods: Cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay and apoptosis assay were used to detect the effects of different doses of cisplatin on the proliferation and apoptosis of gastric cancer. We examined the expression relationship between the Enhancer of Zeste Homologue 2 (EZH2) and UCA1 by quantitative Real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and western blot analysis. Western blot analysis was also performed to detect the expression levels of apoptosis-related proteins, EZH2 and key genes in PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, RIP and RNA pull down assays were performed to explore the interaction between UCA1 and EZH2.

Results: We demonstrated that higher the UCA1 expression levels in GC tissues correlated with the poorer the prognosis of patients according to the TCGA database, the GEO database. Moreover, overexpression of UCA1 promotes GC cell proliferation and inhibits cisplatin-induced apoptosis. Knockdown of UCA1 showed the opposite results. Besides, UCA1 exerted its function through interacting with EZH2 and regulates EZH2 expression, knockdown of EZH2 decreased cisplatin resistance of GC cells. Hence, UCA1 promotes cisplatin resistance of GC via recruiting EZH2 and activating PI3K/AKT pathway.

Conclusion: Our research revealed the lncRNA UCA1 promoted the cisplatin resistance of GC by recruiting EZH2 and activating PI3K/AKT pathway to modulate cell apoptosis, indicating treatments targeting UCA1 or EZH2 might provide meaningful therapeutic strategies for cisplatin-resistance GC patients.

Keywords: cisplatin resistance, EZH2, gastric cancer, PI3K/AKT pathway, UCA1