J Cancer 2018; 9(24):4677-4683. doi:10.7150/jca.26461

Research Paper

High Expression of lncRNA AFAP1-AS1 Promotes the Progression of Colon Cancer and Predicts Poor Prognosis

Hao Bo1,2,3, Liqing Fan3, Jingjing Li4, Zhizhong Liu5, Shanshan Zhang1, Lei Shi2, Can Guo2, Xiayu Li4, Qianjin Liao2,5, Wenling Zhang2, Ming Zhou1,2, Bo Xiang1,2, Xiaoling Li1,2, Guiyuan Li1,2, Wei Xiong1,2, Zhaoyang Zeng1,2, Fang Xiong1,2✉, Zhaojian Gong2,6✉

1. The Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis of the Chinese Ministry of Health, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China;
2. The Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Cancer Invasion of the Chinese Ministry of Education, Cancer Research Institute and School of Basic Medical Sciences, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China;
3. Institute of Reproductive and Stem Cell Engineering, School of Basic Medical Science, Central South University, Changsha, China;
4. Department of Plastic Surgery, Hunan Key Laboratory of Nonresolving Inflammation and Cancer, Disease Genome Research Center, Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China;
5. Hunan Key Laboratory of Translational Radiation Oncology, Hunan Cancer Hospital and The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China;
6. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China.

Abstract

Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are dysregulated in various cancers. However, the clinical relevance and functional roles of AFAP1-AS1 in colon cancer (CC) have not been clarified. We analyzed the lncRNA expression patterns in Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets and the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) RNA-seq datasets, and found that the expression level of AFAP1-AS1 was significantly elevated in CC tissues. High levels of AFAP1-AS1 were associated with poor disease-free survival and overall survival in CC patients. In vitro experiments demonstrated that AFAP1-AS1 knockdown significantly inhibited the cell invasive and migration capability in CC cell line HT-29. AFAP1-AS1 knockdown also increased the expression of E-cadherin and ZO-1 while inhibited the expression of Vimentin, MMP9, ZEB1 and β-catenin, suggesting that AFAP1-AS1 is involved in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process of CC. Further studies confirmed that AFAP1-AS1 knockdown also affected the actin-cytokeratin signaling pathway. Thus, AFAP1-AS1 might be a potential novel diagnostic marker and therapeutic target for CC.

Keywords: long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), AFAP1 antisense RNA 1 (AFAP1-AS1), colon cancer (CC), metastasis, prognosis

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How to cite this article:
Bo H, Fan L, Li J, Liu Z, Zhang S, Shi L, Guo C, Li X, Liao Q, Zhang W, Zhou M, Xiang B, Li X, Li G, Xiong W, Zeng Z, Xiong F, Gong Z. High Expression of lncRNA AFAP1-AS1 Promotes the Progression of Colon Cancer and Predicts Poor Prognosis. J Cancer 2018; 9(24):4677-4683. doi:10.7150/jca.26461. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v09p4677.htm