Document Type : Research Articles
Department of Molecular Medicine and Biotechnology, Faculty of Medicine, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran.
Molecular and Medicine Research Center, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran.
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran.
Background: Over-expression of anti-apoptotic proteins such as Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 is associated with resistance to chemotherapeutic agents such as fludarabine. Moreover, an inverse relationship between miRNA-15a levels with Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 expression has been observed in CLL patients. In this study, the effect of miRNA-15a on apoptosis and sensitivity of the CLL cells to fludarabine was investigated. Methods: After treatments, the Mcl-1 and Bcl-2 expression levels were quantified by RT-qPCR. Trypan blue assay was used to explore the effects of miRNA-15a and fludarabine on cell proliferation. The cytotoxicity was measured using MTT assay and combination index analysis. Cell death was determined using cell death detection ELISA assay and caspase-3 activity assay Kits. Results: Results showed that miRNA-15a clearly decreased the mRNA levels of Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 in a time dependent manner, which led to CLL-II cell proliferation inhibition and enhancement of apoptosis (p < 0.05, relative to control). Transfection of the miRNA-15a synergistically reduced the cell survival rate and lowered the IC50 value of fludarabine. Furthermore, miRNA-15a significantly enhanced the apoptotic effect of fludarabine. Conclusions: Our data propose that suppression of Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 by miRNA-15a can effectively inhibit the cell proliferation and sensitize CLL cells to fludarabine. Therefore, miRNA-15a can be considered as a potential therapeutic target in CLL resistant patients.