Gene Therapy with MiRNA-Mediated Targeting of Mcl-1 Promotes the Sensitivity of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells to Treatment with ABT-737

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Molecular and Medicine Research Center, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran.

2 Department of Molecular Medicine and Biotechnology, Faculty of Medicine, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran.

3 Traditional and Complementary Medicine Research Center, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran.


Background: Despite the dramatic efficacy of ABT-737, a large percentage of cancer cells ultimately become resistance to this drug. Evidences show that over-expression of Mcl-1 is linked to ABT-737 resistance in NSCLC cells. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of miRNA-101 on Mcl-1 expression and sensitivity of the A549 NSCLC cells to ABT-737. Methods: After miRNA-101 transfection, the Mcl-1 mRNA expression levels were quantified by RT-qPCR. Trypan blue staining was used to explore the effect of miRNA-101 on cell growth. The cytotoxic effects of miRNA-101 and ABT-737, alone and in combination, were measured using MTT assay. The effect of drugs combination was determined using the method of Chou-Talalay. Cell death was assessed using cell death detection ELISA assay kit. Results: Results showed that miRNA-101 markedly suppressed the expression of Mcl-1 mRNA in a time dependent manner, which led to A549 cell proliferation inhibition and enhancement of apoptosis (p < 0.05, relative to blank control). Pretreatment with miRNA-101 synergistically decreased the cell survival rate and lowered the IC50 value of ABT-737. Furthermore, miRNA-101 dramatically enhanced the apoptotic effect of ABT-737. Negative control miRNA had no remarkable effect on cellular parameters. Conclusions: Our findings propose that suppression of Mcl-1 by miRNA-101 can effectively inhibit the cell growth and sensitize A549 cells to ABT-737. Therefore, miRNA-101 can be considered as a potential therapeutic target in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.


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