Upregulation of long non-coding RNA urothelial carcinoma associated 1 by CCAAT/enhancer binding protein α contributes to bladder cancer cell growth and reduced apoptosis

Mei Xue, Xu Li, Wenjing Wu, Shuwan Zhang, Shouzhen Wu, Zhengkun Li, Wei Chen
Oncology Reports 2014, 31 (5): 1993-2000
Long non-coding RNA urothelial carcinoma associated 1 (lncRNA-UCA1) is upregulated in bladder cancer and plays a pivotal role in bladder cancer progression and metastasis. Recent studies and our research found that lncRNA-UCA1 may be an important biomarker and therapeutic target for bladder cancer. However, the molecular mechanism involved in the upregulation of lncRNA-UCA1 in bladder cancer is largely unknown. In the present study, we showed that lncRNA-UCA1 expression in bladder cancer cells was upregulated by transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer binding protein α (C/EBPα), which was the only candidate transcription factor simultaneously predicted by a total of five bioinformatical software programs. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay indicated that C/EBPα bound to the lncRNA-UCA1 core promoter region in vitro and in vivo. The luciferase assays further showed that there was a point mutation (A231G) in the C/EBPα binding site of the lncRNA-UCA1 core promoter in various bladder cancer cell lines, which in turn significantly increased the transcriptional activity of lncRNA-UCA1. We also demonstrated that C/EBPα siRNA treatment contributed to the downregulation of lncRNA-UCA1 expression, whereas overexpression of C/EBPα enhanced lncRNA-UCA1 expression. Furthermore, lncRNA-UCA1 transcriptional repression by C/EBPα siRNA sharply reduced cell viability and induced cell apoptosis in vitro. Collectively, our results provide a novel therapeutic strategy for bladder cancer by effectively interrupting the binding of the lncRNA-UCA1 promoter and certain transcription factors, so as to reverse the upregulation of lncRNA-UCA1 and prevent bladder cancer progression.

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