Research Papers:

Long non-coding RNA NKILA inhibits migration and invasion of tongue squamous cell carcinoma cells via suppressing epithelial-mesenchymal transition

Wei Huang, Xiuying Cui, Jianing Chen, Yuhuan Feng, Erwei Song, Jinsong Li and Yujie Liu _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:62520-62532. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11528

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Wei Huang1,2,*, Xiuying Cui1,3,*, Jianing Chen1,2,*, Yuhuan Feng1,4,*, Erwei Song1,2, Jinsong Li1,4, Yujie Liu1,2

1Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Malignant Tumor Epigenetics and Gene Regulation, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China, 510120

2Breast Tumor Center, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China, 510120

3Medical Research Center, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China, 510120

4Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China, 510120

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Yujie Liu, email: [email protected]

Jinsong Li, email: [email protected]

Keywords: long non-coding RNAs, NKILA, tongue squamous cell carcinoma, NF-κB, migration

Received: December 19, 2015     Accepted: August 08, 2016     Published: August 23, 2016


Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged recently as key regulators of tumor development and progression. Our previous study identified an NF-KappaB interacting lncRNA (NKILA) which was negatively correlated with breast cancer metastasis and patient prognosis. However, its clinical significance and potential role in Tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC) remain unclear. Here we show that NKILA is down-regulated in TSCC cancer tissues than that in matched adjacent noncancerous tissues. And low NKILA expression in TSCC is significantly correlated with tumor metastasis and poor patient prognosis. In vitro, overexpression of NKILA decreases TSCC cells migration and invasion. Mechanistic study shows that NKILA inhibits the phosphorylation of IκBα and NF-κB activation as well as the induction of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process. Ectopic expression of NKILA in Tscca cells inhibits NF-κB activator TNF-α-promoted cell migration and invasion, while applying NF-κB inhibitor Bay-117082 or JSH-23 in NKILA silenced CAL27 cells reverses cell migration capacity to lower level. In vivo experimental metastasis model also demonstrates NKILA inhibits lung metastasis of NOD/SCID mice with TSCC tumors. These results suggested that NKILA is a vital determinant of TSCC migration and invasion and NF-κB signaling pathway mediates this effect. Given the above mentioned function of NKILA, it could act as a potential predictor for overall survival in patients with TSCC and a potential therapeutic target for TSCC intervention.

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