Background/Aims: MicroRNA-218 (miR-218) is down-regulated in many malignancies that have been implicated in the regulation of diverse processes in cancer cells. However, the involvement of miR-218 in chemo-sensitivity to cisplatin and the precise mechanism of this action remained unknown in bladder cancer. Methods: qRT-PCR was used to detect miR-218 and its target Glut1 expression in bladder cancer cell lines T24 and EJ. CCK-8 method was utilized to measure the cell viability. IC 50 was calculated via a probit regression model. Glut1 was detected by western blotting for analysis of potential mechanism. Luciferase reporter assay was utilized to validate Glut1 as a direct target gene of miR-218. The intracellular level of GSH and ROS were determined using a commercial colorimetric assay kit and 2’, 7’-dichlorodihydro-fluorescein diacetate, respectively. Results: Over-expression of miR-218 significantly reduced the rate of glucose uptake and total level of GSH and enhanced the chemo-sensitivity of bladder cancer to cisplatin. Mechanistically, Glut1 was found to be a direct and functional target of miR-218. Up-regulation of Glut1 could restore chemo-resistance in T24 and EJ cells. On the contrary, knockdown of Glut1 could generate a similar effect as up-regulating the expression of miR-218. Conclusions: MiR-218 increases the sensitivity of bladder cancer to cisplatin by targeting Glut1. Restoration of miR-218 and repression of glut1 may provide a potential strategy to restore chemo-sensitivity in bladder cancer.

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