Despite multimodal therapies, a high percentage of high-risk neuroblastoma (NB) become refractory to current treatments, most of which interfere with cell cycle and DNA synthesis or function, activating the DNA damage response (DDR). In cancer, this process is frequently altered by deregulated expression or function of several genes which contribute to multidrug resistance (MDR). MicroRNAs are outstanding candidates for therapy since a single microRNA can modulate the expression of multiple genes of the same or different pathways, thus hindering the development of resistance mechanisms by the tumor. We found several genes implicated in the MDR to be overexpressed in high-risk NB which could be targeted by microRNAs simultaneously. Our functional screening identified several of those microRNAs that reduced proliferation of chemoresistant NB cell lines, the best of which was miR-497. Low expression of miR-497 correlated with poor patient outcome. The overexpression of miR-497 reduced the proliferation of multiple chemoresistant NB cell lines and induced apoptosis in MYCN-amplified cell lines. Moreover, the conditional expression of miR-497 in NB xenografts reduced tumor growth and inhibited vascular permeabilization. MiR-497 targets multiple genes related to the DDR, cell cycle, survival and angiogenesis, which renders this molecule a promising candidate for NB therapy.
- Epigenetic therapy
- Vascular permeability