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      Long noncoding RNA NEAT1 drives aggressive endometrial cancer progression via miR-361-regulated networks involving STAT3 and tumor microenvironment-related genes

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          High-grade endometrioid and serous endometrial cancers (ECs) are an aggressive subtype of ECs without effective therapies. The reciprocal communication between tumor cells and their surrounding microenvironment drives tumor progression. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are key mediators of tumorigenesis and metastasis. However, little is known about the role of lncRNAs in aggressive EC progression and tumor microenvironment remodeling.


          We performed an array-based lncRNA analysis of a parental HEC-50 EC cell population and derivatives with highly invasive, sphere-forming, and paclitaxel (TX)-resistant characteristics. We characterized the roles of the lncRNA NEAT1 in mediating aggressive EC progression in vitro and in vivo and explored the molecular events downstream of NEAT1.


          We identified 10 lncRNAs with upregulated expression (NEAT1, H19, PVT1, UCA1, MIR7-3HG, SNHG16, HULC, RMST, BCAR4 and LINC00152) and 10 lncRNAs with downregulated expression (MEG3, GAS5, DIO3OS, MIR155HG, LINC00261, FENDRR, MIAT, TMEM161B-AS1, HAND2-AS1 and NBR2) in the highly invasive, sphere-forming and TX-resistant derivatives. NEAT1 expression was markedly upregulated in early-stage EC tissue samples, and high NEAT1 expression predicted a poor prognosis. Inhibiting NEAT1 expression with small hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) diminished cellular proliferation, invasion, sphere formation, and xenograft tumor growth and improved TX response in aggressive EC cells. We showed that NEAT1 functions as an oncogenic sponge for the tumor suppressor microRNA-361 (miR-361), which suppresses proliferation, invasion, sphere formation and TX resistance by directly targeting the oncogene STAT3. Furthermore, miR-361 also suppressed the expression of multiple prometastatic genes and tumor microenvironment-related genes, including MEF2D, ROCK1, WNT7A, VEGF-A, PDE4B, and KPNA4.


          NEAT1 initiates a miR-361-mediated network to drive aggressive EC progression. These data support a rationale for inhibiting NEAT1 signaling as a potential therapeutic strategy for overcoming aggressive EC progression and chemoresistance.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Microenvironmental regulation of metastasis.

          Metastasis is a multistage process that requires cancer cells to escape from the primary tumour, survive in the circulation, seed at distant sites and grow. Each of these processes involves rate-limiting steps that are influenced by non-malignant cells of the tumour microenvironment. Many of these cells are derived from the bone marrow, particularly the myeloid lineage, and are recruited by cancer cells to enhance their survival, growth, invasion and dissemination. This Review describes experimental data demonstrating the role of the microenvironment in metastasis, identifies areas for future research and suggests possible new therapeutic avenues.
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            Is Open Access

            Cancer metastases: challenges and opportunities

            Cancer metastasis is the major cause of cancer morbidity and mortality, and accounts for about 90% of cancer deaths. Although cancer survival rate has been significantly improved over the years, the improvement is primarily due to early diagnosis and cancer growth inhibition. Limited progress has been made in the treatment of cancer metastasis due to various factors. Current treatments for cancer metastasis are mainly chemotherapy and radiotherapy, though the new generation anti-cancer drugs (predominantly neutralizing antibodies for growth factors and small molecule kinase inhibitors) do have the effects on cancer metastasis in addition to their effects on cancer growth. Cancer metastasis begins with detachment of metastatic cells from the primary tumor, travel of the cells to different sites through blood/lymphatic vessels, settlement and growth of the cells at a distal site. During the process, metastatic cells go through detachment, migration, invasion and adhesion. These four essential, metastatic steps are inter-related and affected by multi-biochemical events and parameters. Additionally, it is known that tumor microenvironment (such as extracellular matrix structure, growth factors, chemokines, matrix metalloproteinases) plays a significant role in cancer metastasis. The biochemical events and parameters involved in the metastatic process and tumor microenvironment have been targeted or can be potential targets for metastasis prevention and inhibition. This review provides an overview of these metastasis essential steps, related biochemical factors, and targets for intervention.
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              The bright side of dark matter: lncRNAs in cancer.

              The traditional view of genome organization has been upended in the last decade with the discovery of vast amounts of non-protein-coding transcription. After initial concerns that this "dark matter" of the genome was transcriptional noise, it is apparent that a subset of these noncoding RNAs are functional. Long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) genes resemble protein-coding genes in several key aspects, and they have myriad molecular functions across many cellular pathways and processes, including oncogenic signaling. The number of lncRNA genes has recently been greatly expanded by our group to triple the number of protein-coding genes; therefore, lncRNAs are likely to play a role in many biological processes. Based on their large number and expression specificity in a variety of cancers, lncRNAs are likely to serve as the basis for many clinical applications in oncology.

                Author and article information

                J Exp Clin Cancer Res
                J. Exp. Clin. Cancer Res
                Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research : CR
                BioMed Central (London )
                8 July 2019
                8 July 2019
                : 38
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2173 7691, GRID grid.39158.36, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, , Hokkaido University, ; Sapporo, Japan
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1803 6191, GRID grid.488530.2, Department of Gynecology, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, , Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, ; Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0386 9246, GRID grid.267301.1, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, , University of Tennessee Health Science Center, ; Memphis, TN 38163 USA
                [4 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0386 9246, GRID grid.267301.1, Center for Cancer Research, , University of Tennessee Health Science Center, ; Memphis, TN 38163 USA
                [5 ]GRID grid.415270.5, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, , National Hospital Organization, Hokkaido Cancer Center, ; Sapporo, Japan
                © The Author(s). 2019

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001691, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science;
                Award ID: 18K09278
                Award ID: 19K09769
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000025, National Institute of Mental Health;
                Award ID: 1R21CA216585-01A1
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100012245, Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province;
                Award ID: 2014A020212124
                Award Recipient :
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                © The Author(s) 2019

                Oncology & Radiotherapy

                neat1, mir-361, stat3, endometrial cancer metastasis, tumor microenvironment


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