Abstract

 

Cisplatin (Cis-DDP) is one of the most widely used anti-cancer drugs. It is applicable to many types of cancer, including lung, bladder, and breast cancer. However, its use is now limited because of drug resistance. p90 ribosomal S6 kinase (p90RSK) is one of the downstream effectors in the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) pathway and high expression of p90RSK is observed in human breast cancer tissues. Therefore, we investigated the role of p90RSK in the Cis-DDP resistance-related signaling pathway and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in breast cancer cells. First, we discovered that MDA-MB-231 cells exhibited more Cis-DDP resistance than other breast cancer cells, including MCF-7 and BT549 cells. Cis-DDP increased p90RSK activation, whereas the inactivation of p90RSK using a small interfering RNA (siRNA) or dominant-negative kinase mutant plasmid overexpression significantly reduced Cis-DDP-induced cell proliferation and migration via the inhibition of matrix metallopeptidase (MMP)2 and MMP9 in MDA-MB-231 cells. In addition, p90RSK activation was involved in EMT via the upregulation of mRNA expression, including that of Snail, Twist, ZEB1, N-cadherin, and vimentin. We also investigated NF-B, the upstream regulator of EMT markers, and discovered that Cis-DDP treatment led to NF-B translocation in the nucleus as well as its promoter activity. Our results suggest that targeting p90RSK would be a good strategy to increase Cis-DDP sensitivity in triple-negative breast cancers.