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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018;48(3):891-904. doi: 10.1159/000491957. Epub 2018 Jul 20.

Long Non-Coding RNA LUCAT1 Promotes Proliferation and Invasion in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma Through AKT/GSK-3β Signaling Pathway.

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Department of Urology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.
Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Malignant Tumor Epigenetics and Gene Regulation, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.



Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as new regulators and biomarkers in several cancers. However, few lncRNAs have been well characterized in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC).


We investigated the lncRNA expression profile by microarray analysis in 5 corresponding ccRCC tissues and adjacent normal tissues. Lung cancer-associated transcript 1 (LUCAT1) expression was examined in 90 paired ccRCC tissues by real-time PCR and validated by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to examine the prognostic value of LUCAT1 and CXCL2 in ccRCC patients. Loss and gain of function were performed to explore the effect of LUCAT1 on proliferation and invasion in ccRCC cells. Western blotting was performed to evaluate the underlying mechanisms of LUCAT1 in ccRCC progression. Chemokine stimulation assay was performed to investigate possible mechanisms controlling LUCAT1 expression in ccRCC cells. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were performed to determine serum CXCL2 in ccRCC patients and healthy volunteers. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was performed to examine the clinical diagnostic value of serum CXCL2 in ccRCC.


We found that LUCAT1 was significantly upregulated in both clinical ccRCC tissues (n = 90) and TCGA ccRCC tissues (n = 448) compared with normal tissues. Statistical analysis revealed that the LUCAT1 expression level positively correlated with tumor T stage (P < 0.01), M stage (P < 0.01), and TNM stage (P < 0.01). Overall survival and disease-free survival time were significantly shorter in the high-LUCAT1-expression group than in the low-LUCAT1-expression group (log-rank P < 0.01). LUCAT1 knockdown inhibited ccRCC cell proliferation and colony formation, induced cell cycle arrest at G1 phase, and inhibited cell migration and invasion. Overexpression of LUCAT1 promoted proliferation, migration, and invasion of ccRCC cells. Mechanistic investigations showed that LUCAT1 induced cell cycle G1 arrest by regulating the expression of cyclin D1, cyclin-dependent kinase 4, and phosphorylated retinoblastoma transcriptional corepressor 1. Moreover, LUCAT1 promoted proliferation and invasion in ccRCC cells partly through inducing the phosphorylation of AKT and suppressing the phosphorylation of GSK-3β. We also revealed that chemokine CXCL2, upregulated in ccRCC, induced LUCAT1 expression and might be a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in ccRCC.


LUCAT1 was upregulated in ccRCC tissues and renal cancer cell lines, and significantly correlated with malignant stage and poor prognosis in ccRCC. LUCAT1 promoted proliferation and invasion in ccRCC cells through the AKT/GSK-3β signaling pathway. We also revealed that LUCAT1 overexpression was induced by chemokine CXCL2. These findings indicate that the CXCL2/LUCAT1/AKT/GSK-3β axis is a potential therapeutic target and molecular biomarker for ccRCC.


CXCL2; Clear cell renal cell carcinoma; Invasion; LUCAT1; Lncrna; Proliferation

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