Long non-coding RNAs (LncRNA) regulated by transforming growth factor (TGF) β: LncRNA-hit-mediated TGFβ-induced epithelial to mesenchymal transition in mammary epithelia

Edward J Richards, Gu Zhang, Zhu-Peng Li, Jennifer Permuth-Wey, Sridevi Challa, Yajuan Li, William Kong, Su Dan, Marilyn M Bui, Domenico Coppola, Wei-Min Mao, Thomas A Sellers, Jin Q Cheng
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2015 March 13, 290 (11): 6857-67
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as key regulators in various biological processes. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a developmental process hijacked by tumor cells to depart from the primary tumor site, invade surrounding tissue, and establish distant metastases. Transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling has been shown to be a major inducer of EMT and to facilitate breast cancer metastasis. However, the role of lncRNAs in this process remains largely unknown. Here we report a genome-wide lncRNA profile in mouse mammary epithelial NMuMG cells upon TGFβ induction of EMT. Among 10,802 lncRNAs profiled, over 600 were up-regulated and down-regulated during the EMT, respectively. Furthermore, we identify that lncRNA-HIT (HOXA transcript induced by TGFβ) mediates TGFβ function, i.e. depletion of lncRNA-HIT inhibits TGFβ-induced migration, invasion, and EMT in NMuMG. LncRNA-HIT is also significantly elevated in the highly metastatic 4T1 cells. Knockdown of lncRNA-HIT in 4T1 results in decrease of cell migration, invasion, tumor growth, and metastasis. E-cadherin was identified as a major target of lncRNA-HIT. Moreover, lncRNA-HIT is conserved in humans and elevated expression associates with more invasive human primary breast carcinoma. Collectively, these data suggest that a subset of lncRNAs such as lncRNA-HIT play a significant role in regulation of EMT and breast cancer invasion and metastasis, and could be potential therapeutic targets in breast cancers.

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