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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 385-400; doi:10.3390/ijms12010385

RNA Interference Targeting Slug Increases Cholangiocarcinoma Cell Sensitivity to Cisplatin via Upregulating PUMA

1,†,* , 1
Received: 9 December 2010 / Revised: 6 January 2011 / Accepted: 7 January 2011 / Published: 14 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Slug is an E-cadherin repressor and a suppressor of PUMA (p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis) and it has recently been demonstrated that Slug plays an important role in controlling apoptosis. In this study, we examined whether Slug’s ability to silence expression suppresses the growth of cholangiocarcinoma cells and/or sensitizes cholangiocarcinoma cells to chemotherapeutic agents through induction of apoptosis. We targeted the Slug gene using siRNA (Slug siRNA) via full Slug cDNA plasmid (Slug cDNA) transfection of cholangiocarcinoma cells. Slug siRNA, cisplatin, or Slug siRNA in combination with cisplatin, were used to treat cholangiocarcinoma cells in vitro. Western blot was used to detect the expression of Slug, PUMA, and E-cadherin protein. TUNEL, Annexin V Staining, and cell cycle analysis were used to detect apoptosis. A nude mice subcutaneous xenograft model of QBC939 cells was used to assess the effect of Slug silencing and/or cisplatin on tumor growth. Immunohistochemical staining was used to analyze the expression of Slug and PUMA. TUNEL was used to detect apoptosis in vivo. The results showed that PUMA and E-cadherin expression in cholangiocarcinoma cells is Slug dependent. We demonstrated that Slug silencing and cisplatin both promote apoptosis by upregulation of PUMA, not by upregulation of E-cadherin. Slug silencing significantly sensitized cholangiocarcinoma cells to cisplatin through upregulation of PUMA. Finally, we showed that Slug silencing suppressed the growth of QBC939 xenograft tumors and sensitized the tumor cells to cisplatin through PUMA upregulation and induction of apoptosis. Our findings indicate that Slug is an important modulator of the therapeutic response of cholangiocarcinoma cells and is potentially useful as a sensitizer in cholangiocarcinoma therapy. One of the mechanisms is the regulation of PUMA by Slug.
Keywords: cisplatin; chemotherapy; slug; PUMA; E-cadherin cisplatin; chemotherapy; slug; PUMA; E-cadherin
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Zhang, K.; Chen, D.; Wang, X.; Zhang, S.; Wang, J.; Gao, Y.; Yan, B. RNA Interference Targeting Slug Increases Cholangiocarcinoma Cell Sensitivity to Cisplatin via Upregulating PUMA. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12, 385-400.

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