MicroRNAs (miRNAs), endogenous non-coding small RNAs, are sensitive to environmental changes, and their differential expression is important for adaptation to the environment. However, application of miRNAs as a clinical prognostic or diagnostic tool remains unproven. In this study we demonstrate a chronic/persistent change of miRNAs from the plasma of a colorectal cancer susceptible mouse model (CPC;Apc) about 250 days after exposure to a simulated solar particle event (SPE). Differentially expressed miRNAs were identified compared to unirradiated control mice, including miR-31-5p, which we investigated further. To address the cellular function of miR-31-5p, we transfected a miR-31-5p mimic (sense) or inhibitor (antisense) into immortalized human colonic epithelial cells followed by gamma-irradiation. A miR-31-5p mimic sensitized but a miR-31-5p inhibitor protected colonic epithelial cells against radiation induced killing. We found that the miR-31-5p mimic inhibited the induction of hMLH1 expression after irradiation, whereas the miR-31-5p inhibitor increased the basal level of hMLH1 expression. The miR-31-5p inhibitor failed to modulate radiosensitivity in an hMLH1-deficient HCT116 colon cancer cell line but protected HCT116 3-6 and DLD-1 (both hMLH1-positive) colon cancer cell lines. Our findings demonstrate that miR-31-5p has an important role in radiation responses through regulation of hMLH1 expression. Targeting this pathway could be a promising therapeutic strategy for future personalized anti-cancer radiotherapy.
- Human colonic epithelial cells (HCECs)
- Human mutL homologue-1 (hMLH1)
- Solar Particle Event (SPE)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis