The prognosis of patients affected by malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is presently poor and no therapeutic strategies have improved their survival yet. Introduction of miRNA mimics to restore their reduced or absent functionality in cancer cells is considered an important opportunity and a combination of miR's might be even more effective. In the present study, miR-16 and miR-34a were transfected, singularly and in combination, in MPM cell lines H2052 and H28, and their effects on cell proliferation and sensitivity to cisplatin are reported. Interestingly, the overexpression of both miRs, alone or combined, slows down the cell cycle progression, modulates the p53 and HMGB1 expression and increases the sensitivity of cells to cisplatin, producing a marked impairment of cell proliferation and strengthening the apoptotic effect of the drug. However, the co-overexpression of the two miRs results more effective only in the regulation of the cell cycle, but does not enhance the sensitivity of MPM cells to cisplatin. Consequently, although the potential of miR-16 and miR-34a is confirmed, we must conclude that their combination does not improve the response of MPM to chemotherapy.
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