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Oncofetal H19 RNA promotes tumor metastasis.

Biochimica et biophysica acta (2014-04-08)
Imad J Matouk, Eli Raveh, Rasha Abu-lail, Shaul Mezan, Michal Gilon, Eitan Gershtain, Tatiana Birman, Jennifer Gallula, Tamar Schneider, Moshe Barkali, Carmelit Richler, Yakov Fellig, Vladimir Sorin, Ayala Hubert, Abraham Hochberg, Abraham Czerniak
ABSTRACT

The oncofetal H19 gene transcribes a long non-coding RNA(lncRNA) that is essential for tumor growth. Here we found that numerous established inducers of epithelial to mesenchymal transition(EMT) also induced H19/miR-675 expression. Both TGF-β and hypoxia concomitantly induced H19 and miR-675 with the induction of EMT markers. We identified the PI3K/AKT pathway mediating the inductions of Slug, H19 RNA and miR-675 in response to TGF-β treatment, while Slug induction depended on H19 RNA. In the EMT induced multidrug resistance model, H19 level was also induced. In a mouse breast cancer model, H19 expression was tightly correlated with metastatic potential. In patients, we detected high H19 expression in all common metastatic sites tested, regardless of tumor primary origin. H19 RNA suppressed the expression of E-cadherin protein. H19 up-regulated Slug expression concomitant with the suppression of E-cadherin protein through a mechanism that involved miR-675. Slug also up-regulated H19 expression and activated its promoter. Altogether, these results may support the existence of a positive feedback loop between Slug and H19/miR-675, that regulates E-cadherin expression. H19 RNA enhanced the invasive potential of cancer cells in vitro and enhanced tumor metastasis in vivo. Additionally, H19 knockdown attenuated the scattering and tumorigenic effects of HGF/SF. Our results present novel mechanistic insights into a critical role for H19 RNA in tumor progression and indicate a previously unknown link between H19/miR-675, Slug and E-cadherin in the regulation of cancer cell EMT programs.

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