Butein-instigated miR-186-5p-dependent modulation of TWIST1 affects resistance to cisplatin and bioenergetics of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma cells

Cancer Drug Resistance 2022 July 3 [Link]

Mario Cioce, Daniela Rutigliano, Annamaria Puglielli, Vito Michele Fazio


Aim: Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a chemoresistant tumor, and biphasic and sarcomatoid histologies portend the worst prognosis for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) patients. We obtained the microRNA expression profile of three biphasic-sarcomatoid MPM cell lines to identify commonly expressed microRNAs and evaluate the effect of butein, a chemo-sensitizing compound, on this microRNA subset. Methods: Nanostring-based microRNA profiling and analysis through the ROSALIND platform were employed to identify the commonly modulated microRNAs and their targets. MicroRNA-mimic transfection, Luciferase assay, and Western blotting were employed to show specific perturbation of TWIST1 levels by miR-186-5p. Sphere-forming assays, invasion assay, and metabolic profiling were used to assess the biological consequences of the butein-instigated miR-186-5p-mediated perturbation of TWIST1 levels. TGCA analysis was used to search for the correlation between TWIST1 and miR-186-5p levels in biphasic and epithelioid MPM specimens. Results: We identified a set of perturbed microRNAs, common to three biphasic/sarcomatoid MPM cell lines, after butein treatment. When focusing on miR-186-5p, we unraveled a butein-ignited and miR-186-5p-mediated modulation of TWIST1 levels which affected the 3D anchorage-independent growth, cisplatin resistance, invasion, and bioenergetics of the MPM cell lines tested. We showed that miR-186-5p and TWIST1 levels are anti-correlated in biphasic MPM specimens from TCGA. Conclusion: We unraveled a novel mechanism of action of butein, which attenuated the pro-tumorigenic features of MPM at least through a miR-186-5p-TWIST1 axis. We suggest that those activities converge into the chemo-sensitizing effect of this compound and may be of translational relevance.