Formononetin ameliorates the drug resistance of Taxol resistant triple negative breast cancer by inhibiting autophagy.
Am J Transl Res. 2021 ;13(2):497-514. Epub 2021 Feb 15. PMID: 33594306
Characterized by autophagy-associated protein disorders, autophagy participates in Taxol resistance in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). As an evolutionarily conserved serine/threonine protein kinase with complex signaling pathway, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) can regulate various cellular functions by phosphorylation of its downstream target proteins after activation. A large number of references have demonstrated that mTOR signaling pathway is related to autophagy and apoptosis. Formononetin (FMNT) has anticancer properties against breast, prostate and colon cancers. This study aimed to explore the regulatory effect of FMNT/miR-199a-3p/mTOR pathway on Taxol resistance and autophagy in breast cancer (BC). MiR-199a-3p, mTOR, LC3 and other autophagy related proteins were detected in Taxol sensitive and Taxol resistant TNBC cell lines, which were MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-231/Taxol, respectively. Cell viability and toxicity were determined by CCK-8 and MTT assay, respectively. The therapeutic effect of FMNT was evaluated in xenotransplantation model of nude mice. MiR-199a-3p was more highly expressed in MDA-MB-231/Taxol than in MDA-MB-231, while mTOR and p-mTOR decreased in MDA-MB-231/Taxol in comparison with MDA-MB-231, and autophagy activation and drug resistance were enhanced. In MDA-MB-231/Taxol cell line, the role of FMNT was verified to inhibit high miR-199a-3p expression. In addition, the combination therapy of FMNT and Taxol was found to be more effective in inhibiting autophagy and drug resistance. Moreover, mTOR was the target of miR-199a-3p, which was confirmed by dual luciferase reporter (DLR) gene assay. Oral administration of FMNT reduced tumor volume after MDA-MB-231/Taxol injection in vivo. Moreover, oral administration of FMNT and Taxol suppressed autophagy and Taxol resistance by restoring mTOR protein level to that of the parent MDA-MB-231, suggesting that miR-199a-3p can severe as a new target to overcome Taxol resistance in TNBC.