The family of non-coding mitochondrial RNAs (ncmtRNA) is differentially expressed according to proliferative status. Normal proliferating cells express sense (SncmtRNA) and antisense ncmtRNAs (ASncmtRNAs), whereas tumor cells express SncmtRNA and downregulate ASncmtRNAs. Knockdown of ASncmtRNAs with oligonucleotides induces apoptotic cell death of tumor cells, leaving normal cells unaffected, suggesting a potential application for developing a novel cancer therapy. In this study, we knocked down the ASncmtRNAs in melanoma cell lines with a lentiviral-encoded shRNA approach. Transduction with lentiviral constructs targeted to the ASncmtRNAs induced apoptosis in murine B16F10 and human A375 melanoma cells in vitro and significantly retarded B16F10 primary tumor growth in vivo. Moreover, the treatment drastically reduced the number of lung metastatic foci in a tail vein injection assay, compared to controls. These results provide additional proof of concept to the knockdown of ncmtRNAs for cancer therapy and validate lentiviral-shRNA vectors for gene therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology