BMB Reports 2019; 52(3): 208-213
Downregulation of FoxM1 sensitizes nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells to cisplatin via inhibition of MRN-ATM-mediated DNA repair
Dandan Li1,2,#, Lin Ye3,#, Yue Lei2, Jie Wan1,2 & Hongyan Chen1,*
1Department of Otolaryngology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 40016, 2Laboratory Research Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 40016, 3Department of cardiothoracic surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China
Correspondence to: Tel: +86-23-89012758; Fax: +86-23-89012758; E-mail:
#These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: October 27, 2018; Revised: November 13, 2018; Accepted: January 10, 2019; Published online: March 31, 2019.
© Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. All rights reserved.

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Chemoresistance is the primary obstacle in the treatment of locally advanced and metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Recent evidence suggests that the transcription factor forkhead box M1 (FoxM1) is involved in chemoresistance. Our group previously confirmed that FoxM1 is overexpressed in NPC. In this study, we investigated the role of FoxM1 in cisplatin resistance of the cell lines 5-8F and HONE-1 and explored its possible mechanism. Our results showed that FoxM1 and NBS1 were both overexpressed in NPC tissues based on data from the GSE cohort (GSE12452). Then, we measured FoxM1 levels in NPC cells and found FoxM1 was overexpressed in NPC cell lines and could be stimulated by cisplatin. MTT and clonogenic assays, flow cytometry, γH2AX immunofluorescence, qRT-PCR, and western blotting revealed that downregulation of FoxM1 sensitized NPC cells to cisplatin and reduced the repair of cisplatin-induced DNA double-strand breaks via inhibition of the MRN (MRE11-RAD50-NBS1)-ATM axis, which might be related to the ability of FoxM1 to regulate NBS1. Subsequently, we demonstrated that enhanced sensitivity of FoxM1 knockdown cells could be reduced by overexpression of NBS1. Taken together, our data demonstrate that downregulation of FoxM1 could improve the sensitivity of NPC cells to cisplatin through inhibition of MRN-ATM-mediated DNA repair, which could be related to FoxM1-dependent regulation of NBS1.
Keywords: Cisplatin, FoxM1, MRN-ATM axis, Nasopharyngeal carcinoma, Resistance

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