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The Potential Contribution of microRNAs in Anti-cancer Effects of Aurora Kinase Inhibitor (AZD1152-HQPA)

Neuroblastoma (NB) remains the critical challenge in pediatric oncology. It has the highest rate of spontaneous regression among all human cancers. Aurora kinase B (AURKB), a crucial regulator of malignant mitosis, is involved in chromosome segregation and cytokinesis. AZD1152-HQPA (Barasertib) is a small selective inhibitor of AURKB activity and currently bears clinical assessment for several malignancies. Studies suggested that microRNAs are involved in the pathobiology and chemoresistance of neuroblastoma. In the present study, we first investigated the restrictive potentials of AZD1152-HQPA on cell viability, colony formation, nucleus morphology, polyploidy, and cell-cycle distribution. We then studied the expressions level of 88 cancer-related miRNAs in untreated and AZD1152-HQPA-treated NB cell line (SK-N-MC) by real-time PCR using miRNA cancer-array system. After normalizing, the fold change of miRNAs was calculated in the AZD1152-HQPA-treated cell as compared to untreated. Our results demonstrate that the inhibition of AURKB by AZD1152-HQPA induced potent antitumor activity, suppressed cell survival, and triggered apoptosis and polyploidy in NB cells. AZD1152-HQPA, at a relevant concentration, modulated a substantial number of cancer-related miRNAs in NB cell. Interestingly, by screening the literature, among the 7 top AZD1152-HQPA-induced upregulated miRNAs (> 3-fold change; P < 0.01), all were potential tumor suppressors associated with cell apoptosis and cycle arrest, as well as inhibition of angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis, while two downregulated miRNAs were known to have oncogenic function. Taken together, our study showed for the first time the potential contribution of miRNAs in the anti-cancer effects of AZD1152-HQPA.

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S1147 Barasertib (AZD1152-HQPA) Barasertib (AZD1152-HQPA) is a highly selective Aurora B inhibitor with IC50 of 0.37 nM in a cell-free assay, ~3700 fold more selective for Aurora B over Aurora A. Phase 1. (62) (10)

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