Published online May 28, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i20.2586
Peer-review started: November 18, 2020
First decision: January 23, 2021
Revised: February 10, 2021
Accepted: April 2, 2021
Article in press: April 2, 2021
Published online: May 28, 2021
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a malignancy found globally. Accumulating studies have shown that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play critical roles in HCC. However, the function of lncRNA in HCC remains poorly understood.
To understand the effect of lncRNA W42 on HCC and dissect the underlying molecular mechanisms.
We measured the expression of lncRNA W42 in HCC tissues and cells (Huh7 and SMMC-7721) by quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to assess the sensitivity and specificity of lncRNA W42 expression. HCC cells were transfected with pcDNA3.1-lncRNA W42 or shRNA-lncRNA W42. Cell functions were detected by cell counting Kit-8 (CCK-8), colony formation, flow cytometry and Transwell assays. The interaction of lncRNA W42 and DBN1 was confirmed by RNA immunoprecipitation and RNA pull down assays. An HCC xenograft model was used to assess the role of lncRNA W42 on tumor growth in vivo. The Kaplan-Meier curve was used to evaluate the overall survival and recurrence-free survival after surgery in patients with HCC.
In this study, we identified a novel lncRNA (lncRNA W42), and investigated its biological functions and clinical significance in HCC. LncRNA W42 expression was upregulated in HCC tissues and cells. Overexpression of lncRNA W42 notably promoted the proliferative and invasion of HCC, and inhibited cell apoptosis. LncRNA W42 directly bound to DBN1 and activated the downstream pathway. LncRNA W42 knockdown suppressed HCC xenograft tumor growth in vivo. The clinical investigation revealed that HCC patients with high lncRNA W42 expression exhibited shorter survival times.
In vitro and in vivo results suggested that the novel lncRNA W42, which is upregulated in HCC, may serve as a potential candidate prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target in HCC patients.
Core Tip: The results of this study demonstrated, for the first time, that long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) W42 expression was significantly higher in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues than in normal tissues and that dysregulation of lncRNA W42 was positively correlated with tumor number, liver cirrhosis and tumor recurrence in patients with HCC. Moreover, increased lncRNA W42 expression was associated with a poor prognosis in patients with HCC. These findings suggest that lncRNA W42 is an important marker for indicting prognosis and may have potential as a diagnostic and therapeutic target for HCC.