Research Papers:

Recurrent fusion RNA DUS4L-BCAP29 in non-cancer human tissues and cells

Yue Tang, Fujun Qin, Aiqun Liu and Hui Li _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:31415-31423. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16329

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Yue Tang1,2,3, Fujun Qin2, Aiqun Liu4, Hui Li2

1College of Life Sciences, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan 450008, P.R. China

2Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA

3College of Basic Medical Sciences, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan, 450001, P.R. China

4Department of Endoscopy, The Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi 530021, P.R. China

Correspondence to:

Hui Li, email: [email protected]

Keywords: DUS4L-BCAP29, chimeric RNA, cis-SAGe, fusion transcript

Received: November 30, 2016     Accepted: March 09, 2017     Published: March 17, 2017


Traditional gene fusions are involved in the development of various neoplasia. DUS4L-BCAP29, a chimeric fusion RNA, has been reported to be a cancer-fusion in prostate and gastric cancer, in addition to playing a tumorigenic role. Here, we showed that the DUS4L-BCAP29 fusion transcript exists in a variety of normal tissues. It is also present in non-cancer epithelial, as well as in fibroblast cell lines. Quantitatively, the fusion transcript has a comparable expression in non-cancerous, gastric and prostate cell lines and tissues as in the cancer cell lines and tissues. The loss-of-function approach as previously reported is not sufficient to prove the functionality of the fusion. On the other hand, the gain-of-function approach showed that overexpression of DUS4L-BCAP29 promotes cell growth and motility, even in non-cancer cells. Finally, we provide further evidence that the fusion transcript is a product of cis-splicing between adjacent genes. In summary, we believe that in contrast to traditional gene fusions, DUS4L-BCAP29 cannot be used as a cancer biomarker. Instead, it is a fusion transcript that exists in normal physiology and that its pro-growth effect is not unique to cancer cells.

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