Erythropoietin Promotes Glioblastoma via miR-451 Suppression

Alural B., Ayyildiz Z. O., Tufekci K. U., GENÇ Ş., Genc K.

ERYTHROPOIETIN, vol.105, pp.249-271, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 105
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/bs.vh.2017.03.002
  • Journal Name: ERYTHROPOIETIN
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED)
  • Page Numbers: pp.249-271
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Erythropoietin (EPO) is an erythropoiesis stimulating growth factor and hormone. EPO has been widely used in the treatment of chronic renal failure, cancer, and chemotherapy-related anemia for three decades. However, many clinical trials showed that EPO treatment may be associated with tumorigenesis and cancer progression. EPO is able to cross blood-brain barriers, and this may lead to an increased possibility of central nervous system tumors such as glioblastoma. Indeed, EPO promotes glioblastoma growth and invasion in animal studies. Additionally, EPO increases glioblastoma cell survival, proliferation, migration, invasion, and chemoresistancy in vitro. However, the exact mechanisms of cancer progression induced by EPO treatment are not fully understood. Posttranscriptional gene regulation through microRNAs may contribute to EPO's cellular and biological effects in tumor progression. Here, we aimed to study whether tumor suppressive microRNA, miR-451, counteracts the positive effects of EPO on U87 human glioblastoma cell line. Migration and invasion were evaluated by scratch assay and transwell invasion assay, respectively. We found that EPO decreased basal miR-451 expression and increased cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and cisplatin chemoresistancy in vitro. miR-451 overexpression by transfection of its mimic significantly reversed these effects. Furthermore, ectopic expression of miR-451 inhibited expression of its own target genes, such as metalloproteinases-2 and -9, which are stimulated by EPO treatment and involved in carcinogenesis processes, especially invasion. These findings suggest that miR-451 mimic delivery may be useful as adjuvant therapy in addition to chemotherapy and anemia treatment by EPO and should be tested in experimental glioblastoma models.