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J Biol Chem. 2015 Mar 13;290(11):6857-67. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M114.610915. Epub 2015 Jan 20.

Long non-coding RNAs (LncRNA) regulated by transforming growth factor (TGF) β: LncRNA-hit-mediated TGFβ-induced epithelial to mesenchymal transition in mammary epithelia.

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From the Departments of Molecular Oncology.
the Zhejiang Cancer Hospital & Zhejiang Cancer Research Institute, Zhejiang 310022, China.
Cancer Epidemiology, and.
Anatomic Pathology, Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida 33612 and.
From the Departments of Molecular Oncology,


Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as key regulators in various biological processes. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a developmental process hijacked by tumor cells to depart from the primary tumor site, invade surrounding tissue, and establish distant metastases. Transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling has been shown to be a major inducer of EMT and to facilitate breast cancer metastasis. However, the role of lncRNAs in this process remains largely unknown. Here we report a genome-wide lncRNA profile in mouse mammary epithelial NMuMG cells upon TGFβ induction of EMT. Among 10,802 lncRNAs profiled, over 600 were up-regulated and down-regulated during the EMT, respectively. Furthermore, we identify that lncRNA-HIT (HOXA transcript induced by TGFβ) mediates TGFβ function, i.e. depletion of lncRNA-HIT inhibits TGFβ-induced migration, invasion, and EMT in NMuMG. LncRNA-HIT is also significantly elevated in the highly metastatic 4T1 cells. Knockdown of lncRNA-HIT in 4T1 results in decrease of cell migration, invasion, tumor growth, and metastasis. E-cadherin was identified as a major target of lncRNA-HIT. Moreover, lncRNA-HIT is conserved in humans and elevated expression associates with more invasive human primary breast carcinoma. Collectively, these data suggest that a subset of lncRNAs such as lncRNA-HIT play a significant role in regulation of EMT and breast cancer invasion and metastasis, and could be potential therapeutic targets in breast cancers.


Breast Cancer; Epithelial-esenchymal Transition (EMT); Long Noncoding RNA (Long ncRNA, LncRNA); Metastasis; Transforming Growth Factor β (TGF-β)

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