Introduction: Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is a myeloproliferative neoplasm characterized by constitutive activity of the tyrosine kinase BCR-ABL1. Drug resistance remains one of the major challenges in CML therapy. MicroRNA (miR)-199a-3p plays an important role in many tumours but has rarely been investigated in CML. We aimed to analyse the role and mechanism of miR-199a-3p in regulating imatinib resistance in CML. Methods: The expression of miR-199a-3p and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in the serum of CML patients and CML cells was examined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The levels of apoptosis-related proteins were determined using western blot. The relative cell survival rate and cell proliferation were determined using a CCK-8 assay and a bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) assay, respectively. Cell cycle and apoptosis were analysed using flow cytometry. Moreover, a dual-luciferase reporter assay was performed to verify the correlation between miR-199a-3p and mTOR. Results: MiR-199a-3p was downregulated in the serum of CML patients and in CML cells, while mTOR was upregulated. Both miR-199a-3p overexpression and mTOR silencing inhibited CML cell proliferation, promoted CML cell apoptosis, and sensitized these cells to imatinib. mTOR silencing reversed the promoting effect of miR-199a-3p inhibition on the proliferation of CML cells and the inhibitory effects on cell apoptosis and sensitivity to imatinib. MiR-199a-3p directly targeted mTOR. Conclusion: MiR-199a-3p suppressed cell propagation, facilitated apoptosis of CML cells, and sensitized CML cells to imatinib by downregulating mTOR signalling.

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