Am J Cancer Res. 2021 Apr 15;11(4):1428-1445. eCollection 2021.
The overexpression of ATP-binding cassette transporters subfamily B member 1 (ABCB1) is known to be the primary trigger of multidrug resistance (MDR) in colorectal cancer (CRC), leading to chemotherapy failure. However, factors that regulate chemoresistance in CRC cells are largely unknown. To identify proteins involved in MDR in CRC, we used proteomics and transcriptomics approaches to analyze HCT8/T cells and parental HCT8 cells. Results showed that the expression of insulin-like growth factor-2 mRNA-binding protein 3 (IGF2BP3) was upregulated in HCT8/T cells, and siIGF2BP3 remarkably elevated the sensitivity of HCT8/T cells to DOX. Overexpression of IGF2BP3 promoted ABCB1 expression, and reduced the sensitivity to ABCB1 substrates. Conversely, knockdown of IGF2BP3 reduced ABCB1 expression, and increased the sensitivity to ABCB1 substrates in vitro and in vivo. This phenomeon was further confirmed by the strong association of IGF2BP3 and ABCB1 expression with DOX sensitivity. Mechanistically, IGF2BP3, as a N6-methyladenosine (m6A) reader, directly bound to the m6A-modified region of ABCB1 mRNA, thereby promoting the stability and expression of ABCB1 mRNA. Overall, the results showed that IGF2BP3 bound to the m6A modification region of ABCB1 mRNA, and conferred chemoresistance in CRC cells via upregulation of ABCB1. These findings suggest that IGF2BP3 might be a potential biomarker for predicting the development of MDR in CRC. Targeting IGF2BP3 might be an important chemotherapeutic strategy for preventing MDR development in CRC.