Article ID: b21-00163
microRNA-221 (miRNA-221) is upregulated in several malignant tumors and is associated with poor patient prognosis. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the role and underlying mechanism of miRNA-221 in doxorubicin (DOX) resistance in osteosarcoma cells. We constructed DOX-resistant Saos-2/DOX cells and treated them with DOX. Cell viability was determined by performing an MTT assay. Cells were transfected with either miRNA-221 mimic or miRNA-221 inhibitor; real-time quantitative reverse transcription PCR was performed to detect the expression of miRNA-221. Flow cytometry and TUNEL staining were used to detect cell apoptosis. The immunofluorescence method was also used to detect cell Stat3 protein expression distribution. In addition, western blotting was used to detect changes in the expression of each protein. We found that miRNA-221 was upregulated in Saos-2/DOX cells. Moreover, the miRNA-221 mimic induced DOX resistance in Saos-2 cells, whereas the miRNA-221 inhibitor enhanced DOX sensitivity in Saos-2/DOX cells. The miRNA-221 mimic upregulated the expression of phosphorylated-Stat3, P-gp, and Bcl-2 proteins in Saos-2 cells and induced the entry of Stat3 into the nucleus, whereas the miRNA-221 inhibitor exerted the opposite effect. Pretreatment with the Stat3 chemical inhibitor, STAT3-IN-3, significantly inhibited the upregulation of P-gp and Bcl-2 protein expression induced by the miRNA-221 mimic in Saos-2 cells; it also caused the Saos-2 cells to overcome DOX resistance induced by the miRNA-221 mimic. Thus, miRNA-221 increased the expression of P-gp and Bcl-2 by activating the Stat3 pathway to promote DOX resistance in osteosarcoma cells, indicating a potential use of miRNA-221 in osteosarcoma treatment.