Although bevacizumab (BEV) plays a key role in ovarian cancer treatment, BEV resistance is often observed in clinical settings. This study aimed to identify the genes responsible for BEV resistance. C57BL/6 mice inoculated with ID-8 murine ovarian cancer cells were treated with anti-VEGFA antibody or IgG (control) twice weekly for 4 weeks. The mice were sacrificed, then, RNA was extracted from the disseminated tumors. qRT-PCR assays were performed to identify angiogenesis-related genes and miRNAs that were altered by anti-VEGFA treatment. SERPINE1/PAI-1 was found to be upregulated during BEV treatment. Therefore, we focused on miRNAs to elucidate the mechanism underlying the upregulation of PAI-1 during BEV treatment. Kaplan–Meier plotter analysis revealed that higher expression levels of SERPINE1/PAI-1 were associated with poor prognoses among BEV-treated patients, suggesting that SERPINE1/PAI may be involved in the acquisition of BEV resistance. miRNA microarray analysis followed by in silico and functional assays revealed that miR-143-3p targeted SERPINE1 and negatively regulated PAI-1 expression. The transfection of miR-143-3p suppressed PAI-1 secretion from ovarian cancer cells and inhibited in vitro angiogenesis in HUVECs. Next, miR-143-3p-overexpressing ES2 cells were intraperitoneally injected into BALB/c nude mice. ES2-miR-143-3p cells downregulated PAI-1 production, attenuated angiogenesis, and significantly inhibited intraperitoneal tumor growth following treatment with anti-VEGFA antibody. Continuous anti-VEGFA treatment downregulated miR-143-3p expression, which upregulated PAI-1 and activated an alternative angiogenic pathway in ovarian cancer. In conclusion, the substitution of this miRNA during BEV treatment may help overcome BEV resistance, and this may be used as a novel treatment strategy in clinical settings.
Continuous administration of VEGFA antibody upregulates SERPINE1/PAI-1 expression via the downregulation of miR-143-3p, which contributes to acquiring bevacizumab resistance in ovarian cancer.