Background: Allelic loss in chromosome 3p is one of the most frequent and earliest genetic events in lung carcinogenesis. We investigated if the loss of microRNA-128b, a microRNA located on chromosome 3p and a putative regulator of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), correlated with response to targeted EGFR inhibition. Loss of microRNA-128b would be equivalent to losing a tumor suppressor gene because it would allow increased expression of EGFR. Patients and Methods: We initially showed that microRNA-128b is a regulator of EGFR in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines. We tested microRNA-128b expression levels by quantitative RT-PCR, genomic copy number by quantitative PCR, and mutations in the mature microRNA-128b by sequencing. We determined whether microRNA-128b loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in 58 NSCLC patient samples correlated with response to gefitinib and evaluated EGFR expression and mutation status. Results: We determined that microRNA-128b directly regulates EGFR. MicroRNA-128b LOH was frequent in tumor samples and correlated significantly with clinical response and survival following gefitinib. EGFR expression and mutation status did not correlate with survival outcome. Conclusion: Identifying microRNA regulators of oncogenes could have far-reaching implications for lung cancer patients including improving patient selection for targeted agents, development of novel therapeutics, or development as early biomarkers of disease.
- Epidermal growth factor receptor
- Non-small-cell lung cancer