Knockdown of Merm1/Wbscr22 attenuates sensitivity of H460 non?small cell lung cancer cells to SN?38 and 5?FU without alteration to p53 expression levels.
Merm1/Wbscr22 is a novel metastasis promoter that has been shown to be involved in tumor metastasis, viability and apoptosis. To the best of our knowledge, there are currently no studies suggesting the possible correlation between the expression of Merm1/Wbscr22 in tumor cells and chemosensitivity to antitumor agents. In the present study, two human non?small cell lung cancer cell lines, H1299 and H460, were used to investigate whether Merm1/Wbscr22 affects chemosensitivity to antitumor agents, including cisplatin (CDDP), doxorubicin (ADM), paclitaxel (PTX), mitomycin (MMC), 7?Ethyl?10?hydroxycamptothecin (SN?38; the active metabolite of camptothecin) and 5?fluorouracil (5?FU). Merm1/Wbscr22 knockdown cell lines (H1299?shRNA and H460?shRNA) and negative control cell lines (H1299?NC and H460?NC) were established by stable transfection, and the efficiency of Merm1/Wbscr22 knockdown was confirmed by western blotting, immunofluorescence microscopy and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The results demonstrated that shRNA?mediated knockdown of Merm1/Wbscr22 did not affect cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. The H460 cells harboring wild type p53 were markedly more sensitive to all six antitumor agents as compared with the p53?null H1299 cells. Downregulation of Merm1/Wbscr22 did not affect H1299 sensitivity to any of the six antitumor agents, whereas attenuated H460 sensitivity to SN?38 and 5?FU, without significant alteration in p53 at both mRNA and protein levels, was identified. The reduced H460 sensitivity to SN?38 was further confirmed in vivo. SN?38 demonstrated significant tumor growth inhibitory activity in both H460 and H460?NC tumor xenograft models, but only marginally suppressed the H460?shRNA xenograft tumor growth. Furthermore, CDDP (4, 10, 15 µg/ml)?resistant human non?small lung cancer cells A549 (A549?CDDPr?4, 10, 15) expressed significant amounts of Merm1/Wbscr22 protein, as compared with the parental A549 cells. In conclusion, shRNA?mediated knockdown of Merm1/Wbscr22 attenuates H460 sensitivity to SN?38 and 5?FU, suggesting Merm1/Wbscr22 is involved in chemosensitivity to SN?38 and 5?FU in H460 cells. No direct correlation between the p53 expression level and altered chemosensitivity was identified.