Long noncoding RNA HOTAIR is a prognostic marker for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma progression and survival

Xiao-Bin Lv, Gui-Yong Lian, Hao-Ran Wang, Erwei Song, Herui Yao, Ming-Hui Wang
PloS One 2013, 8 (5): e63516

BACKGROUND: It is currently unclear whether the expression of HOX transcript antisense RNA (HOTAIR) correlates with the progression of esophageal cancer. The aim of this study was to examine HOTAIR expression in patients with esophageal squamous cell cancer (ESCC) and explore its clinical significance.

METHODS: Differences in the expression of HOTAIR were examined via in situ hybridization (ISH) and quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR). The prognostic significance was evaluated using Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses. Proliferation, colony formation and migration assays were performed in ESCC cell lines to determine the function of HOTAIR in the progression of ESCC in vitro.

RESULTS: A notably higher level of HOTAIR expression was found in ESCC tissues. High expression levels of HOTAIR in ESCC patients correlated positively with clinical stage, TNM classification, histological differentiation and vital status. HOTAIR expression was found to be an independent prognostic factor in ESCC patients. ESCC patients who expressed high levels of HOTAIR had substantially lower overall 5-year survival rates than HOTAIR-negative patients. In vitro assays of ESCC cell lines demonstrated that HOTAIR mediated the proliferation, colony formation and migratory capacity of ESCC cells.

CONCLUSION: HOTAIR is a potential biomarker for ESCC prognosis, and the dysregulation of HOTAIR may play an important role in ESCC progression.

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