Research Papers:

Long noncoding RNA DANCR is activated by SALL4 and promotes the proliferation and invasion of gastric cancer cells

Lei Pan, Wei Liang, Jianmei Gu, Xueyan Zang, Zhenhua Huang, Hui Shi, Jingyan Chen, Min Fu, Peng Zhang, Xiudi Xiao, Hui Qian, Wenrong Xu, Pengcheng Jiang and Xu Zhang _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:1915-1930. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23019

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Lei Pan1,2,*, Wei Liang2,*, Jianmei Gu3,*, Xueyan Zang2, Zhenhua Huang2,4, Hui Shi2, Jingyan Chen2, Min Fu4,5, Peng Zhang2, Xiudi Xiao1, Hui Qian2, Wenrong Xu2, Pengcheng Jiang4,5 and Xu Zhang2,4

1Department of Breast Surgery, The Affiliated People’s Hospital of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu 212002, China

2Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Medical Science and Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu 212013, China

3Department of Clinical Laboratory, Nantong Tumor Hospital, Nantong, Jiangsu 226361, China

4Institute of Digestive Diseases, The Affiliated People’s Hospital of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu 212002, China

5Department of General Surgery, The Affiliated People’s Hospital of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu 212002, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Xu Zhang, email: [email protected]

Pengcheng Jiang, email: [email protected]

Wenrong Xu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: gastric cancer; lncRNA; DANCR; SALL4; progression

Received: August 24, 2017     Accepted: November 17, 2017     Published: December 06, 2017


Long noncoding RNAs (LncRNAs) play important roles in tumor development and progression. The expression of lncRNAs is frequently dysregulated in human cancer. DANCR (anti-differentiation noncoding RNA) is a newly identified lncRNA in human cancer, however, its functional roles and clinical value in gastric cancer (GC) remains unknown. In this study, we investigated the expression of DANCR in the tumor tissues and serum of GC patients and analyzed the correlation between DANCR expression levels and the clinicopathological characteristics. Our results showed that the expression of DANCR was higher in the tumor tissues than that in the adjacent non-cancerous tissues. The expression level of DANCR was also elevated in the serum of GC patients compared to that of healthy controls. The expression levels of DANCR were significantly associated with tumor size, TNM stage, lymphatic metastasis and invasion depth. DANCR knockdown inhibited the proliferation of GC cells by inducing cell cycle arrest and cell apoptosis. In addition, DANCR knockdown suppressed gastric cancer growth in vivo. Moreover, DANCR knockdown inhibited the migration and invasion of GC cells via the suppression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). However, DANCR overexpression had the opposite effect. DANCR is activated by SALL4 in gastric cancer cells and exerted its oncogenic activities through the activation of β-catenin pathway. Taken together, our findings suggest that DANCR promotes the progression of gastric cancer and have the potential to serve as a novel diagnostic biomarker.

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