Research Papers:

The long non-coding RNA HOTAIR increases tumour growth and invasion in cervical cancer by targeting the Notch pathway

Maria Lee _, Hee Jung Kim, Sang Wun Kim, Sun-Ae Park, Kyung-Hee Chun, Nam Hoon Cho, Yong Sang Song and Young Tae Kim

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:44558-44571. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10065

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Maria Lee1,2,*, Hee Jung Kim3,*, Sang Wun Kim3, Sun-Ae Park3, Kyung-Hee Chun4, Nam Hoon Cho5, Yong Sang Song1, Young Tae Kim3

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yonsei University Graduate School, Seoul, Korea

3Institute of Women’s Life Medical Science, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

4Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

5Department of Pathology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Young Tae Kim, email: ytkchoi@yuhs.ac

Keywords: HOTAIR, long non-coding RNA, invasion, prognosis, cervical cancer

Received: February 25, 2016     Accepted: May 29, 2016     Published: June 15, 2016


Evidence suggests that the long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), HOTAIR, is involved in cervical cancer pathogenesis. We examined serum HOTAIR expression levels in cervical cancer patients and determined the relationships between HOTAIR expression and several clinicopathological factors, including survival. We also examined the functional consequences of HOTAIR overexpression both in vitro and in vivo. Compared with control patients, HOTAIR expression was significantly greater in the serum of cervical cancer patients (P < 0.001). The results indicated that this increase was significantly associated with tumour size (P = 0.030), lymphovascular space invasion (P = 0.037), and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.043). Univariate analysis revealed that disease-free survival and overall survival times were significantly shorter in cervical cancer patients with high HOTAIR expression (hazard ratio [HR] = 4.27, 4.68 and P = 0.039, 0.031, respectively). Cell proliferation and invasion in vitro increased as a result of lentiviral-mediated HOTAIR overexpression in cervical cancer cell lines. HOTAIR knockdown inhibited these properties and increased apoptosis. In vivo xenograft experiments using the HOTAIR-overexpressing SiHa cell line revealed that HOTAIR was a strong inducer of tumour growth and modulated the expression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and Notch-Wnt signalling pathway-related genes. This result suggested that HOTAIR overexpression promoted cell proliferation and invasion. In conclusion, increased HOTAIR expression was associated with decreased patient survival times. HOTAIR may be a useful target for treatment of cervical cancer patients.

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