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A MALAT1/HIF-2α feedback loop contributes to arsenite carcinogenesis

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      Abstract

      Arsenic is well established as a human carcinogen, but the molecular mechanisms leading to arsenic-induced carcinogenesis are complex and elusive. It is also not known if lncRNAs are involved in arsenic-induced liver carcinogenesis. We have found that MALAT1, a non-coding RNA, is over-expressed in the sera of people exposed to arsenite and in hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs), and MALAT1 has a close relation with the clinicopathological characteristics of HCC. In addition, hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-2α is up-regulated in HCCs, and MALAT1 and HIF-2α have a positive correlation in HCC tissues. During the malignant transformation of human hepatic epithelial (L-02) cells induced by a low concentration (2.0 μM) of arsenite, MALAT1 and HIF-2α are increased. In addition, arsenite-induced MALAT1 causes disassociation of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) protein from HIF-2α, therefore, alleviating VHL-mediated HIF-2α ubiquitination, which causes HIF-2α accumulation. In turn, HIF-2α transcriptionally regulates MALAT1, thus forming a positive feedback loop to ensure expression of arsenite-induced MALAT1 and HIF-2α, which are involved in malignant transformation. Moreover, MALAT1 and HIF-2α promote the invasive and metastatic capacities of arsenite-induced transformed L-02 cells and in HCC-LM3 cells. The capacities of MALAT1 and HIF-2α to promote tumor growth are validated in mouse xenograft models. In mice, arsenite induces an inflammatory response, and MALAT1 and HIF-2α are over-expressed. Together, these findings suggest that the MALAT1/HIF-2α feedback loop is involved in regulation of arsenite-induced malignant transformation. Our results not only confirm a novel mechanism involving reciprocal regulation between MALAT1 and HIF-2α, but also expand the understanding of the carcinogenic potential of arsenite.

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      Most cited references 57

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      Hypoxia--a key regulatory factor in tumour growth.

       Claire Harris (2001)
      Cells undergo a variety of biological responses when placed in hypoxic conditions, including activation of signalling pathways that regulate proliferation, angiogenesis and death. Cancer cells have adapted these pathways, allowing tumours to survive and even grow under hypoxic conditions, and tumour hypoxia is associated with poor prognosis and resistance to radiation therapy. Many elements of the hypoxia-response pathway are therefore good candidates for therapeutic targeting.
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        lincRNAs act in the circuitry controlling pluripotency and differentiation

        While thousands of large intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) have been identified in mammals, few have been functionally characterized, leading to debate about their biological role. To address this, we performed loss-of-function studies on most lincRNAs expressed in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESC) and characterized the effects on gene expression. Here we show that knockdown of lincRNAs has major consequences on gene expression patterns, comparable to knockdown of well-known ESC regulators. Notably, lincRNAs primarily affect gene expression in trans. Knockdown of dozens of lincRNAs causes either exit from the pluripotent state or upregulation of lineage commitment programs. We integrate lincRNAs into the molecular circuitry of ESCs and show that lincRNA genes are regulated by key transcription factors and that lincRNA transcripts bind to multiple chromatin regulatory proteins to affect shared gene expression programs. Together, the results demonstrate that lincRNAs have key roles in the circuitry controlling ESC state.
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          MALAT-1, a novel noncoding RNA, and thymosin beta4 predict metastasis and survival in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer.

          Early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) can be cured by surgical resection, but a substantial fraction of patients ultimately dies due to distant metastasis. In this study, we used subtractive hybridization to identify gene expression differences in stage I NSCLC tumors that either did or did not metastasize in the course of disease. Individual clones (n=225) were sequenced and quantitative RT-PCR verified overexpression in metastasizing samples. Several of the identified genes (eIF4A1, thymosin beta4 and a novel transcript named MALAT-1) were demonstrated to be significantly associated with metastasis in NSCLC patients (n=70). The genes' association with metastasis was stage- and histology specific. The Kaplan-Meier analyses identified MALAT-1 and thymosin beta4 as prognostic parameters for patient survival in stage I NSCLC. The novel MALAT-1 transcript is a noncoding RNA of more than 8000 nt expressed from chromosome 11q13. It is highly expressed in lung, pancreas and other healthy organs as well as in NSCLC. MALAT-1 expressed sequences are conserved across several species indicating its potentially important function. Taken together, these data contribute to the identification of early-stage NSCLC patients that are at high risk to develop metastasis. The identification of MALAT-1 emphasizes the potential role of noncoding RNAs in human cancer.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            1 Institute of Toxicology, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 211166, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China
            2 The Key Laboratory of Modern Toxicology, Ministry of Education, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 211166, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China
            3 The Key Laboratory of Environmental Pollution Monitoring and Disease Control, Ministry of Education, School of Public Health, Guiyang Medical University, Guiyang 550025, Guizhou, People's Republic of China
            4 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 211166, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China
            5 Thoracic and GI Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
            Author notes
            Correspondence to: Qizhan Liu, drqzliu@ 123456hotmail.com
            Journal
            Oncotarget
            Oncotarget
            Oncotarget
            ImpactJ
            Oncotarget
            Impact Journals LLC
            1949-2553
            2 February 2016
            31 December 2015
            : 7
            : 5
            : 5769-5787
            26735578
            4868720
            6806
            10.18632/oncotarget.6806
            Copyright: © 2016 Luo et al.

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

            Categories
            Research Paper

            Oncology & Radiotherapy

            hifs, lncrnas, arsenite, carcinogenesis

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