Research Papers:

Hypoxia-induced lncRNA-NUTF2P3-001 contributes to tumorigenesis of pancreatic cancer by derepressing the miR-3923/KRAS pathway

Xiang Li, Shi-jiang Deng, Shuai Zhu, Yan Jin, Shi-peng Cui, Jing-yuan Chen, Cheng Xiang, Qun-ying Li, Chi He, Shu-feng Zhao, Heng-yu Chen, Yi Niu, Yang Liu, Shi-chang Deng, Chun-you Wang and Gang Zhao _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:6000-6014. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6830

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Xiang Li1,*, Shi-jiang Deng1,*, Shuai Zhu1, Yan Jin1, Shi-peng Cui1, Jing-yuan Chen1, Cheng Xiang1, Qun-ying Li2, Chi He1, Shu-feng Zhao1, Heng-yu Chen1, Yi Niu1, Yang Liu1, Shi-chang Deng1, Chun-you Wang1, Gang Zhao1

1Pancreatic Disease Institute, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China

2Department of Medical Ultrasound, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Gang Zhao, e-mail: gangzhao@aliyun.com

Chun-you Wang, e-mail: chunyouwang52@163.com

Keywords: HIF-1α, lncRNAs, miRNAs, KRAS, pancreatic cancer

Received: April 22, 2015     Accepted: December 26, 2015     Published: January 07, 2016


Recent studies indicate that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play crucial roles in numerous cancers, while their function in pancreatic cancer is rarely elucidated. The present study identifies a functional lncRNA and its potential role in tumorigenesis of pancreatic cancer. Microarray co-assay for lncRNAs and mRNAs demonstrates that lncRNA-NUTF2P3-001 is remarkably overexpressed in pancreatic cancer and chronic pancreatitis tissues, which positively correlates with KRAS mRNA expression. After downregulating lncRNA-NUTF2P3-001, the proliferation and invasion of pancreatic cancer cell are significantly inhibited both in vitro and vivo, accompanying with decreased KRAS expression. The dual-luciferase reporter assay further validates that lncRNA-NUTF2P3-001 and 3′UTR of KRAS mRNA competitively bind with miR-3923. Furthermore, miR-3923 overexpression simulates the inhibiting effects of lncRNA-NUTF2P3-001-siRNA on pancreatic cancer cell, which is rescued by miR-3923 inhibitor. Specifically, the present study further reveals that lncRNA-NUTF2P3-001 is upregulated in pancreatic cancer cells under hypoxia and CoCl2 treatment, which is attributed to the binding of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) to hypoxia response elements (HREs) in the upstream of KRAS promoter. Data from pancreatic cancer patients show a positive correlation between lncRNA-NUTF2P3-001 and KRAS, which is associated with advanced tumor stage and worse prognosis. Hence, our data provide a new lncRNA-mediated regulatory mechanism for the tumor oncogene KRAS and implicate that lncRNA-NUTF2P3-001 and miR-3923 can be applied as novel predictors and therapeutic targets for pancreatic cancer.

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