Osteosarcoma (OS), an aggressive highly invasive and metastatic bone-malignancy, shows therapy resistance and recurrence, two features that likely depend on cancer stem cells (CSCs), which hold both self-renewing and malignant potential. So, effective anticancer therapies against OS should specifically target and destroy CSCs. We previously found that the let-7d microRNA was downregulated in the 3AB-OS-CSCs, derived from the human OS-MG63 cells. Here, we aimed to assess whether let-7d modulation affected tumorigenic and stemness properties of these OS-CSCs. We found that let-7d-overexpression reduced cell proliferation by decreasing CCND2 and E2F2 cell-cycle-activators and increasing p21 and p27 CDK-inhibitors. Let-7d also decreased sarcosphere-and-colony forming ability, two features associated with self-renewing, and it reduced the expression of stemness genes, including Oct3/4, Sox2, Nanog, Lin28B, and HMGA2. Moreover, let-7d induced mesenchymal-to-epithelial-transition, as shown by both N-Cadherin-E-cadherin-switch and decrease in vimentin. Surprisingly, such switch was accompanied by enhanced migratory/invasive capacities, with a strong increase in MMP9, CXCR4 and VersicanV1. Let-7d- overexpression also reduced cell sensitivity to apoptosis induced by both serum-starvation and various chemotherapy drugs, concomitant with decrease in caspase-3 and increase in BCL2 expression. Our data suggest that let-7d in 3AB-OS-CSCs could induce plastic-transitions from CSCs-to-non-CSCs and vice-versa. To our knowledge this is the first study to comprehensively examine the expression and functions of let-7d in OS-CSCs. By showing that let-7d has both tumor suppressor and oncogenic functions in this context, our findings suggest that, before prospecting new therapeutic strategies based on let-7d modulation, it is urgent to better define its multiple functions.
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Cell Biology