A SOX9-AS1/miR-5590-3p/SOX9 positive feedback loop drives tumor growth and metastasis in hepatocellular carcinoma through the Wnt/?-catenin pathway.
ABSTRACT: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a prevalent solid tumor with a high global death rate. SRY box 9 (SOX9) has been reported as an oncogene in HCC by several studies, but the underlying mechanism remains largely unexplored. Here, we confirmed upregulation of SOX9 in HCC tissues and cell lines and validated that SOX9 facilitates proliferation, migration and invasion in HCC. We subsequently identified that the long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) SOX9 antisense RNA 1 (SOX9-AS1) is a neighbor gene to SOX9; SOX9-AS1 is also upregulated in HCC, and its expression is positively correlated with that of SOX9. In addition, SOX9-AS1 appears to have prognostic significance in HCC patients. We showed that SOX9-AS1 aggravates HCC progression and metastasis in vitro and in vivo. We demonstrated that SOX9-AS1 sponges miR-5590-3p to elevate SOX9 expression, and that SOX9 in turn transcriptionally activates SOX9-AS1. Moreover, we verified that SOX9-AS1 regulates SOX9 and its known downstream Wnt/?-catenin pathway so as to facilitate epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. The results of our rescue assays suggest that SOX9-AS1 regulates HCC progression through SOX9 and the Wnt/?-catenin pathway. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that a SOX9-AS1/miR-5590-3p/SOX9 positive feedback loop drives tumor growth and metastasis in HCC through the Wnt/?-catenin pathway, suggesting SOX9-AS1 as a novel potential prognostic and treatment target for HCC.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are known to be important in a variety of cancer types. The specific expression and roles of miR-520f-3p in the context of gastric cancer (GC), however, remains unknown. Herein we determined miR-520f-3p expression to be significantly reduced in human GC cells compared to cells of the gastric epithelium, with comparable down-regulation also being evident in gastric cancer tissue samples and the low expression of this miRNA was positively correlated with features of more aggressive large tumor size (p?=?0.019), depth of invasion (p?=?0.008), and distant metastasis (p?=?0.037). We further found that lower levels of miR-520f-3p corresponded with poorer GC patient overall (p?=?0.003) and disease-free (p?=?0.036) survival. When over-expressed in GC cells, miR-520f-3p was able to impair their growth, proliferation, and survival, instead leading to the induction of apoptosis. We further found that miR-520f-3p was able to bind the SOX9 3'-UTR, thereby negatively regulating its expression in GC cells. Consistent with this model, SOX9 and miR-520f-3p expression were negatively correlated with one another in GC tissues. When SOX9 was upregulated, this was also able to abrogate miR-520f-3p-mediated inactivation of Wnt/?-catenin signaling. Together our findings thus suggest that miR-520f-3p can act to suppress GC progression, at least in part via suppressing SOX9 expression and thus disrupting Wnt/?-catenin signaling. Our results thus highlight potential novel therapeutic targets in GC worthy of future investigation.
Project description:Increasing evidence has validated the essential regulation of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in the biological process of tumours. LncRNA PXN-AS1 has been discovered to be as a tumour suppressor in pancreatic cancer; however, its function and mechanism remain greatly unknown in glioblastoma (GBM). Our present study indicated that PXN-AS1 was highly expressed in GBM tissues and cells. Besides, the knock-down of PXN-AS1 was closely associated with the inhibitory proliferation and inducing apoptosis of GBM cells. PXN-AS1 inhibition was also found to restrain GBM tumour growth. Importantly, SOX9 functioned as a transcription factor and activated PXN-AS1 expression, and overexpressed PXN-AS1 rescued the inhibitory role of down-regulated SOX9 in GBM cell growth. Subsequently, it was discovered that PXN-AS1 activated Wnt/?-catenin pathway. DKK1 was widely known as an inhibitor gene of Wnt/?-catenin pathway, and its expression was negatively associated with PXN-AS1 and SOX9. Interestingly, we found that PXN-AS1 could recruit EZH2 to mediate the H3K27me3 level of DKK1 promoter. Restoration experiments manifested that DKK1 knock-down counteracted PXN-AS1 depletion-mediated repression in GBM cell growth. All facts pointed out that PXN-AS1 might be of importance in exploring the therapeutic strategies of GBM.
Project description:<b>Background: </b>Glioma is a common brain malignancy with high mortality. The competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) networks may play key roles in cancer progression. This study was conducted to probe the role of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) NCK1-AS1 in glioma progression and the involved mechanisms.<br><br><b>Methods: </b>Microarray analyses were performed to explore the lncRNAs/miRNAs/genes with differential expression in glioma. NCK1-AS1 levels in glioma tissues and normal brain tissues, and in glioma cell lines and normal human glial cells were identified. The interactions among NCK1-AS1, miR-138-2-3p and TRIM24 were validated through luciferase reporter, RNA immunoprecipitation and RNA pull-down assays. Gain- and loss-of functions of NCK1-AS1, miR-138-2-3p and TRIM24 were performed to identify their roles in the behaviors of glioma cells. The activity of the Wnt/?-catenin pathway was measured. In vivo experiments were performed as well.<br><br><b>Results: </b>High expression of NCK1-AS1 was found in glioma tissues and cells, especially in U251 cells. Online predictions and the integrated experiments identified that NCK1-AS1 elevated the TRIM24 expression through sponging miR-138-2-3p, and further activated the Wnt/?-catenin pathway. Artificial silencing of NCK1-AS1 or up-regulation of miR-138-2-3p led to inhibited proliferation, invasion and migration but promoted cell apoptosis of U251 cells, while up-regulation of TRIM24 reversed these changes, and it activated the Wnt/?-catenin pathway. The in vitro results were reproduced in in vivo experiments.<br><br><b>Conclusions: </b>Our study suggested that NCK1-AS1 might elevate TRIM24 expression and further activate the Wnt/?-catenin pathway via acting as a ceRNA for miR-138-2-3p. Silencing of NCK1-AS1 might inhibit the progression of glioma.
Project description:Sox9, an SRY-related HMG box transcription factor, is a progenitor/precursor cell marker of the liver expressed during embryogenesis and following liver injury. In this study, we investigated the role of Sox9 and its molecular mechanism with reference to stemness properties in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Here, we observed upregulation of Sox9 in human HCC tissues compared with the non-tumorous liver counterparts (p < 0.001). Upregulation of Sox9 transcript level was associated with poorer tumor cell differentiation (p = 0.003), venous invasion (p = 0.026), advanced tumor stage (p = 0.044) and shorter overall survival (p = 0.042). Transcript levels of Sox9 and CD24 were positively correlated. Silencing of Sox9 in HCC cells inhibited in vitro cell proliferation and tumorsphere formation, sensitized HCC cells to chemotherapeutic agents, and suppressed in vivo tumorigenicity. In addition, knockdown of Sox9 suppressed HCC cell migration, invasion, and in vivo lung metastasis. Further studies showed that Sox9 endowed stemness features through activation of Wnt/?-catenin signaling, which was confirmed by the partial rescue effect on tumorigenicity and self-renewal upon transfection of active ?-catenin in Sox9 knockdown cells. By ChIP and luciferase promoter assays, Frizzled-7 was identified to be the direct transcriptional target of Sox9. In conclusion, Sox9 confers stemness properties of HCC through Frizzled-7 mediated Wnt/?-catenin pathway.
Project description:The current lack of cancer stem cell (CSC) markers that are easily evaluated by blood samples prevents the establishment of new therapeutic strategies in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Herein, we examined whether sex determining region Y-box 9 (SOX9) represents a new CSC marker, and whether osteopontin (OPN) can be used as a surrogate marker of SOX9 in HCC. In HCC cell lines transfected with a SOX9 promoter-driven enhanced green fluorescence protein gene, FACS-isolated SOX9(+) cells were capable of self-renewal and differentiation into SOX9(-) cells, and displayed high proliferation capacity in vitro. Xenotransplantation experiments revealed that SOX9(+) cells reproduced, differentiated into SOX9(-) cells, and generated tumors at a high frequency in vivo. Moreover, SOX9(+) cells were found to be involved in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and activation of TGFb/Smad signaling. Gain/loss of function experiments showed that SOX9 regulates Wnt/beta-catenin signaling, including cyclin D1 and OPN. Immunohistochemistry of 166 HCC surgical specimens and serum OPN measurements showed that compared to SOX9(-) patients, SOX9(+) patients had significantly poorer recurrence-free survival, stronger venous invasion, and higher serum OPN levels. In conclusion, SOX9 is a novel HCC-CSC marker regulating the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway and its downstream target, OPN. OPN is a useful surrogate marker of SOX9 in HCC.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, and approximately 70% of breast cancers are hormone receptor-positive and express estrogen receptor-? (ER?) or/and progesterone receptor. Therapies targeting ER? have been successfully used in patients with ER?<sup>+</sup> breast cancer. However, intrinsic or acquired resistance to anti-estrogen therapy presents a major challenge. The Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway regulates various processes that are important for cancer progression, and emerging evidences have shown a close interaction between Wnt/?-catenin and ER? signaling. miR-190 is also involved in ER signaling and our previous study indicated that miR-190 suppresses breast cancer metastasis.<h4>Methods</h4>The effect of miR-190 on breast cancer anti-estrogen sensitivity was investigated both in vitro and in vivo. The protein expression levels and localization were analyzed by western blotting and immunofluorescence, respectively. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and dual-luciferase reporter assays were used to validate the regulation of the zinc-finger E-box binding homeobox 1/ ER?-miR-190-SRY-related high mobility group box 9 (ZEB1/ER?-miR-190-SOX9) axis.<h4>Results</h4>miR-190 increased the anti-estrogen sensitivity of breast cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. miR-190 inhibited Wnt/?-catenin signaling by targeting SOX9, and its expression inversely correlated with that of SOX9 in breast cancer samples. Furthermore, ER? and ZEB1 competitively regulated miR-190 expression.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our data uncover the ZEB1/ER?-miR-190-SOX9 axis and suggest a mechanism by which the Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway is involved in breast cancer anti-estrogen therapy.
Project description:Circular RNAs (circRNAs) have confirmed to participate in diverse biological functions in cancer. However, the expression patterns of circRNAs on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unclear. In the present study, we clarified that hsa_circRNA_104348 was dramatically upregulated in HCC tissues and cells. Patients with HCC displaying high hsa_circRNA_104348 level possessed poor prognosis. Has_circ_104348 facilitated proliferation, migration, and invasion, meanwhile suppressed apoptosis of HCC cell. Furthermore, hsa_circRNA_104348 directly targeted miR-187-3p, could regulate miR-187-3p to affect proliferation, migration, invasion, and apoptosis of HCC cells, and may have effect on Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway. Moreover, RTKN2 could be a direct target of miR-187-3p. In addition, knockdown of hsa_circRNA_104348 attenuated HCC tumorigenesis and lung metastasis in vivo. Taken together, these findings indicated that circular RNA hsa_circRNA_104348 might function as a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) to promotes HCC progression by targeting miR-187-3p/RTKN2 axis and activating Wnt/?-catenin pathway.
Project description:Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are regarded as a group of biomarkers in the initiation and development of various cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). LncRNA FOXD2-AS1 has been studied in human colorectal cancer and glioma as an oncogene. However, the function and mechanism of lncRNA FOXD2-AS1 in hepatocellular carcinoma are marked. In this study, we found that high expression of FOXD2-AS1 predicted poor prognosis of HCC patients in the TCGA database. The dysregulation of FOXD2-AS1 was determined in HCC tissues and cell lines by qRT-PCR. Functionally, silenced FOXD2-AS1 efficiently suppressed HCC progression by regulating cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Mechanistically, FOXD2-AS1 was found to be activated by the transcription factor EGR1. Furthermore, FOXD2-AS1 could activate the Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway. The mechanism contributed to the interaction between FOXD2-AS1 and Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway was analyzed. It was uncovered that FOXD2-AS1 enhanced the activity of Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway by epigenetically silencing the inhibitor of Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway (DKK1). Rescue assays demonstrated that DKK1 and Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway involved in FOXD2-AS1-mediated HCC progression. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that EGR1-induced upregulation of lncRNA FOXD2-AS1 promotes the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma via epigenetically silencing DKK1 and activating Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway.
Project description:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) belongs to the most frequent cancer with a high death rate worldwide. Thousands of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been confirmed to influence the development of human cancers, including HCC. Nevertheless, the biological role of PRR34 antisense RNA 1 (PRR34-AS1) in HCC remains obscure. Here, we observed via quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (quantitative real-time RT-PCR) that PRR34-AS1 was highly expressed in HCC cells. Functional assays revealed that PRR34-AS1 promoted HCC cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process <i>in vitro</i> and facilitated tumor growth <i>in vivo</i>. In addition, western blot analysis and TOP Flash/FOP Flash reporter assays verified that PRR34-AS1 stimulated Wnt/β-catenin pathway in HCC cells. Furthermore, RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP), RNA pull-down, and luciferase reporter assays uncovered that PRR34-AS1 sequestered microRNA-296-5p (miR-296-5p) to positively modulate E2F transcription factor 2 (E2F2) and SRY-box transcription factor 12 (SOX12) in HCC cells. Importantly, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and luciferase reporter assays uncovered that E2F2 transcriptionally activated PRR34-AS1 in turn. Further, rescue experiments reflected that PRR34-AS1 affected HCC progression through targeting miR-296-5p/E2F2/SOX12/Wnt/β-catenin axis. Our findings found that PRR34-AS1 elicited oncogenic functions in HCC, which indicated that PRR34-AS1 might be a novel therapeutic target for HCC.
Project description:The transcription factor SOX9 is critical for prostate development, and dysregulation of SOX9 is implicated in prostate cancer (PCa). However, the SOX9-dependent genes and pathways involved in both normal and neoplastic prostate epithelium are largely unknown. Here, we performed SOX9 ChIP sequencing analysis and transcriptome profiling of PCa cells and determined that SOX9 positively regulates multiple WNT pathway genes, including those encoding WNT receptors (frizzled [FZD] and lipoprotein receptor-related protein [LRP] family members) and the downstream ?-catenin effector TCF4. Analyses of PCa xenografts and clinical samples both revealed an association between the expression of SOX9 and WNT pathway components in PCa. Finally, treatment of SOX9-expressing PCa cells with a WNT synthesis inhibitor (LGK974) reduced WNT pathway signaling in vitro and tumor growth in murine xenograft models. Together, our data indicate that SOX9 expression drives PCa by reactivating the WNT/?-catenin signaling that mediates ductal morphogenesis in fetal prostate and define a subgroup of patients who would benefit from WNT-targeted therapy.