1. Department of Pathology, Zhongshan Hospital, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian, China.
2. Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Zhongshan Hospital, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian, China.
3. Union School of Clinical Medicine, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, Fujian, China.
Background: Special AT-rich sequence binding protein 1 (SATB1) is a chromatin organizer and transcriptional regulator which regulate numerous cellular processes through effects on multiple gene expression. SATB1 is associated with drug resistance in several cancers. Whether SATB1 involves radiation resistance in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and underlying mechanism of SATB1 to participate in chemoradiotherapy resistance in NPC have not been elaborated.
Methods: Chemoradioresistant NPC cell lines 5-8F/DDP (cisplatin) and 5-8F/R (radiation) were developed from 5-8F cell line. The expressions of SATB1, MMP-9 and EMT markers (Vimentin and E-cadherin) in these cell lines were examined by reverse transcription-quantitative (RT-q) PCR and western blot (WB) analysis. Cell viabilities of 5-8F/DDP treated with various concentrations of DDP and 5-8F/R irradiated with various doses of X-ray at the indicated time were investigated by MTT test. SATB1 was silenced in 5-8F/DDP and 5-8F/R cells by short hairpin RNA, and then the expressions of SATB1, MMP-9, Vimentin and E-cadherin were evaluated by RT-qPCR and WB analysis; the abilities of cell proliferation and invasion were assessed using MTT and transwell assays, respectively. Drug and radiation resistance assays were performed after SATB1 knockdown and cell viability was detected by MTT method.
Results: SATB1, MMP-9 and Vimentin were markedly upregulated in 5-8F/DDP and 5-8F/R cells compared with 5-8F cell, whereas E-cadherin was obviously downregulated. 5-8F/DDP and 5-8F/R cells displayed drug and radiation resistance to DDP or X-irradiation, respectively, while DDP or X-irradiation inhibited 5-8F cell viability in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Subsequently, knockdown of SATB1 resulted in decreased MMP-9 and Vimentin expression and increased E-cadherin expression in 5-8F/DDP and 5-8F/R. Furthermore, silencing of SATB1 suppressed proliferative and invasive abilities of 5-8F/DDP and 5-8F/R cells. Additionally, SATB1 knockdown reduced drug resistance of 5-8F/DDP cell to DDP and decreased radiation resistance of 5-8F/R cell to X-ray.
Conclusion: These results suggest that high expression of SATB1 plays an important role in the malignant behavior of NPC and leads to X-radiation and drug resistance in NPC through promoting EMT process and enhancing MMP-9 expression. SATB1 may be a promising therapeutic target for aggressive and chemoradiation resistant NPC.
Keywords: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma, SATB1, MMP-9, Vimentin, E-cadherin, EMT, Chemoradiation resistance