Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2020 Jul 25;21:885-899. doi: 10.1016/j.omtn.2020.07.027. Online ahead of print.
Gefitinib is a first-line treatment for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but acquired resistance is a major obstacle to its therapeutic efficacy, and the underlying mechanisms are not fully elucidated. Recent studies have indicated that circular RNAs play a crucial role in chemoresistance, but their expression and function in NSCLC cells with acquired resistance to gefitinib are largely unknown. In this study, we determined that circSETD3 was significantly upregulated in
gefitinib-resistant NSCLC cell lines and the plasma of gefitinib-resistant NSCLC patients. circSETD3 markedly decreased the gefitinib sensitivity of NSCLC cells both in vitro and in nude mice xenografts. It could directly bind to miR-520h and lead to the upregulation of ATP-binding cassette subfamily G member 2 (ABCG2), an efflux transporter of gefitinib, resulting in a reduced intracellular gefitinib concentration. Moreover, we reported that the downregulation of serine/arginine splicing factor 1 (SRSF1) contributed to, at least in part, the increased expression of circSETD3 in NSCLC cells with acquired resistance to gefitinib. Taken together, our findings indicated that circSETD3 may serve as a prognostic biomarker and a potential therapeutic target for acquired resistance to gefitinib in NSCLC.