miR-221/222 Target the DNA Methyltransferase MGMT in Glioma Cells

Cristina Quintavalle, Davide Mangani, Giuseppina Roscigno, Giulia Romano, Angel Diaz-Lagares, Margherita Iaboni, Elvira Donnarumma, Danilo Fiore, Pasqualino De Marinis, Ylermi Soini, Manel Esteller, Gerolama Condorelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most deadly types of cancer. To date, the best clinical approach for treatment is based on administration of temozolomide (TMZ) in combination with radiotherapy. Much evidence suggests that the intracellular level of the alkylating enzyme O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) impacts response to TMZ in GBM patients. MGMT expression is regulated by the methylation of its promoter. However, evidence indicates that this is not the only regulatory mechanism present. Here, we describe a hitherto unknown microRNA-mediated mechanism of MGMT expression regulation. We show that miR-221 and miR-222 are upregulated in GMB patients and that these paralogues target MGMT mRNA, inducing greater TMZ-mediated cell death. However, miR-221/miR-222 also increase DNA damage and, thus, chromosomal rearrangements. Indeed, miR-221 overexpression in glioma cells led to an increase in markers of DNA damage, an effect rescued by re-expression of MGMT. Thus, chronic miR-221/222-mediated MGMT downregulation may render cells unable to repair genetic damage. This, associated also to miR-221/222 oncogenic potential, may poor GBM prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere74466
JournalPLoS One
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 19 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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