Background: Lung cancer remains a leading cause of cancer-related death, with an annual global mortality rate of 18.4%. Despite advances in diagnostic and therapeutic technologies, non– small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) continues to be characterized by a poor prognosis. This may be associated with the enrichment of cancer stem cells (CSCs) and the development of chemoresistance—a double-edged challenge that continues to impede the improvement of long-term outcomes. Metabolic reprogramming is a new hallmark of cancer. Sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) play crucial regulatory roles in the synthesis and uptake of cholesterol, fatty acids, and phospholipids. Recent evidence has demonstrated that SREBP-1 is upregulated in several cancer types. However, its role in lung cancer remains unclear. Objective: This study investigated the role of SREBP-1 in NSCLC biology, progression, and therapeutic response and explored the therapeutic exploitability of SREBP-1 and SREBP-1-dependent oncometabolic signaling and miRNA epigenetic regulation. Methods: We analyzed SREBP-1 levels and biological functions in clinical samples and the human NSCLC cell lines H441 and A549 through shRNA-based knock down of SREBP function, cisplatin-resistant clone generation, immunohistochemical staining of clinical samples, and cell viability, sphere-formation, Western blot, and quantitative PCR assays. We conducted in-silico analysis of miRNA expression in NSCLC samples by using the Gene Expression Omnibus (GSE102286) database. Results: We demonstrated that SREBP-1 and SCAP are highly expressed in NSCLC and are positively correlated with the aggressive phenotypes of NSCLC cells. In addition, downregulation of the expression of tumor-suppressing hsa-miR-497-5p, which predictively targets SREBP-1, was observed. We also demonstrated that SREBP-1/SCAP/FASN lipogenic signaling plays a key role in CSCs-like and chemoresistant NSCLC phenotypes, especially because the fatostatin or shRNA targeting of SREBP-1 significantly suppressed the viability, cisplatin resistance, and cancer stemness of NSCLC cells and because treatment induced the expression of hsa-miR-497. Conclusion: Targeting the SREBP-1/hsa-miR-497 signaling axis is a potentially effective anticancer therapeutic strategy for NSCLC.
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