CDK6-PI3K signaling axis is an efficient target for attenuating ABCB1/P-gp mediated multi-drug resistance (MDR) in cancer cells

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Abstract

Background: Multidrug resistance (MDR) mediated by ATP binding cassette subfamily B member 1 (ABCB1/P-gp) is a major cause of cancer chemotherapy failure, but the regulation mechanisms are largely unknown. Methods: Based on single gene knockout, we studied the regulation of CDK6-PI3K axis on ABCB1-mediated MDR in human cancer cells. CRISPR/Cas9 technique was performed in KB-C2 cells to knockout cdk6 or cdk4 gene. Western blot, RT-PCR and transcriptome analysis were performed to investigate target gene deletion and expression of critical signaling factors. The effect of cdk4 or cdk6 deficiency on cell apoptosis and the cell cycle was analyzed using flow cytometry. In vivo studies were performed to study the sensitivity of KB-C2 tumors to doxorubicin, tumor growth and metastasis. Results: Deficiency of cdk6 led to remarkable downregulation of ABCB1 expression and reversal of ABCB1-mediated MDR. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that CDK6 knockout regulated a series of signaling factors, among them, PI3K 110α and 110β, KRAS and MAPK10 were downregulated, and FOS-promoting cell autophagy and CXCL1-regulating multiple factors were upregulated. Notably, PI3K 110α/110β deficiency in-return downregulated CDK6 and the CDK6-PI3K axis synergizes in regulating ABCB1 expression, which strengthened the regulation of ABCB1 over single regulation by either CDK6 or PI3K 110α/110β. High frequency of alternative splicing (AS) of premature ABCB1 mRNA induced by CDK6, CDK4 or PI3K 110α/110β level change was confirmed to alter the ABCB1 level, among them 10 common skipped exon (SE) events were found. In vivo experiments demonstrated that loss of cdk6 remarkably increased the sensitivity of KB-C2 tumors to doxorubicin by increasing drug accumulation of the tumors, resulting in remarkable inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis, as well as KB-C2 survival in the nude mice. Conclusions: CDK6-PI3K as a new target signaling axis to reverse ABCB1-mediated MDR is reported for the first time in cancers. Pathways leading to inhibition of cancer cell proliferation were revealed to be accompanied by CDK6 deficiency.

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Zhang, L., Li, Y., Hu, C., Chen, Y., Chen, Z., Chen, Z. S., … Fang, S. (2022). CDK6-PI3K signaling axis is an efficient target for attenuating ABCB1/P-gp mediated multi-drug resistance (MDR) in cancer cells. Molecular Cancer, 21(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12943-022-01524-w

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