Research Papers:

Xist reduction in breast cancer upregulates AKT phosphorylation via HDAC3-mediated repression of PHLPP1 expression

Yen-Sung Huang, Che-Chang Chang, Szu-Shuo Lee, Yuh-Shan Jou and Hsiu-Ming Shih _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:43256-43266. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9673

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Yen-Sung Huang1, Che-Chang Chang2, Szu-Shuo Lee3, Yuh-Shan Jou1,3, Hsiu-Ming Shih1,2,3

1Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan

2Graduate Institute of Translational Medicine, College of Medical Science and Technology, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan

3Program in Molecular Medicine, National Yang-Ming University and Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan

Correspondence to:

Hsiu-Ming Shih, email: [email protected]

Keywords: lncRNA, Xist, AKT, HDAC3, breast cancer

Received: February 15, 2016     Accepted: May 12, 2016     Published: May 27, 2016


Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) dysregulated in cancer potentially play oncogenic or tumor-suppressive roles. While the X inactivate-specific transcript (Xist) lncRNA is important for X-chromosome inactivation in female cells, very little is known about the role of Xist in human breast cancer in modulating cellular pathway(s). Here, we show that Xist expression is significantly reduced in breast tumor samples and cancer cell lines. Xist knockdown or overexpression resulted in increased or decreased levels, respectively, of AKT phosphorylation and cell viability. Further studies revealed an inverse correlation between Xist and phospho-AKT levels in breast cancer samples. Additionally, Xist knockdown-elicited increase of cell viability was attenuated by AKT inhibitor. These results suggest that Xist negatively regulates cell viability via inhibition of AKT activation. Interestingly, decreased Xist expression in breast cancer samples was associated with reduced levels of Jpx RNA, an lncRNA that positively regulates Xist promoter activity. Accordingly, Jpx knockdown enhanced AKT activation and cell viability. We also demonstrate that knockdown of Xist or SPEN, an intermediator protein to link Xist, SMRT co-repressor and HDAC3 complexes for X-chromosome inactivation, decreased expression of PHLPP1, a phosphatase to remove AKT phosphorylation, via increased HDAC3 recruitment to the PHLPP1 promoter, correlating with increased AKT phosphorylation. Our findings elucidate the tumor suppressor role of Xist in breast cancer and provide the molecular basis of Xist in downregulating AKT activation.

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