DLL3 is regulated by LIN28B and miR-518d-5p and regulates cell proliferation, migration and chemotherapy response in advanced small cell lung cancer.


Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Zhongda Hospital, School of Medicine, South-east University, Ding jia qiao No. 87, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210009, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Delta-like protein 3 (DLL3) has been reported as a biomarker in various human tumors. However, the biological function and mechanism of it in advanced small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is rarely reported. This study was devised innovatively to explore the role of DLL3 in the progression of SCLC. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis was used to examine DLL3 expression in paraffin-embedded SCLC tumor samples. Upregulation of DLL3 reduced chemotherapy sensitivity. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to analyze the progression-free survival or overall survival of SCLC patients with high or low level of DLL3. The negative association between DLL3 expression and the PFS or OS rate of SCLC patients was identified. Relative high level of DLL3 was determined in SCLC cell lines by using qRT-PCR analysis. Loss-of function assays were performed to detect the biological functions of the silencing of DLL3 in SCLC. As a result, silencing of DLL3 led to the proliferative and migratory inhibition of SCLC cells and reversed EMT process. Mechanistically, DLL3 mRNA was stabilized by the RNA-binding protein lin-28 homolog B (LIN28B). Further mechanism investigation revealed that LIN28B and DLL3 are two downstream targets of miR-518d-5p. Finally, rescue assays demonstrated that LIN28B and miR-518d-5p could regulate DLL3-mediated cell proliferation and migration. Collectively, our present study revealed a novel molecular pathway in SCLC, which providing a new insight in exploring the therapeutic strategy for SCLC.