Metastasis-associated long non-coding RNA drives gastric cancer development and promotes peritoneal metastasis

Yoshinaga Okugawa, Yuji Toiyama, Keun Hur, Shusuke Toden, Susumu Saigusa, Koji Tanaka, Yasuhiro Inoue, Yasuhiko Mohri, Masato Kusunoki, C Richard Boland, Ajay Goel
Carcinogenesis 2014, 35 (12): 2731-9
The prognosis of gastric cancer (GC) patients with peritoneal dissemination remains poor, and a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms is critical for the development of new treatments that will improve survival in these patients. This study aimed to clarify the clinical and biological role of two key metastasis-associated long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in GC. We analyzed the expression levels of two lncRNAs-Metastasis-Associated Lung Adenocarcinoma Transcript 1 (MALAT1) and HOX-Antisense Intergenic RNA (HOTAIR)-by real-time reverse transcription PCR in 300 gastric tissues (150 GC and 150 adjacent normal mucosa), and in seven GC cell lines. Functional characterization for the role of HOTAIR in GC was performed by small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown, followed by series of in-vitro and in-vivo experiments. Expression of both lncRNAs was significantly higher in cancerous tissues than in corresponding normal mucosa, and higher expression of these lncRNAs significantly correlated with peritoneal metastasis in GC patients. In addition, elevated HOTAIR expression emerged both as an independent prognostic and risk factor for peritoneal dissemination. SiRNA knockdown of HOTAIR in GC cells significantly inhibited cell proliferation, migration and invasion, but concurrently enhanced the anoikis rate in transfected cells. In an in vivo assay, HOTAIR siRNA-transfected MKN45 cells injected into nude mice inhibited the growth of xenograft tumors and peritoneal metastasis compared with controls. Our data provide novel evidence for the biological and clinical significance of HOTAIR expression as a potential biomarker for identifying patients with peritoneal metastasis, and as a novel therapeutic target in patients with gastric neoplasia.

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