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Front Genet. 2019 Feb 19;10:25. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2019.00025. eCollection 2019.

LncRNAs GIHCG and SPINT1-AS1 Are Crucial Factors for Pan-Cancer Cells Sensitivity to Lapatinib.

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Department of Surgery of Ruijin Hospital, and Shanghai Institute of Digestive Surgery, Shanghai Key Laboratory for Gastric Neoplasms, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
Guangxi Key Laboratory of Processing for Non-ferrous Metal and Featured Materials, Research Center for Optoelectronic Materials and Devices, School of Physical Science Technology, Guangxi University, Nanning, China.
Department of Chemistry, Center for Diagnostics and Therapeutics, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, United States.


Lapatinib is a small molecule inhibitor of EGFR (HER1) and ERBB2 (HER2) receptors, which is used for treatment of advanced or metastatic breast cancer. To find the drug resistance mechanisms of treatment for EGFR/ERBB2 positive tumors, we analyzed the possible effects of lncRNAs. In this study, using CCLE (Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia) database, we explored the relationship between the lncRNAs and Lapatinib sensitivity/resistance, and then validated those findings through in vitro experiments. We found that the expression of EGFR/ERBB2 and activation of ERBB pathway was significantly related to Lapatinib sensitivity. GO (Gene Oncology) analysis of top 10 pathways showed that the sensitivity of Lapatinib was positively correlated with cell keratin, epithelial differentiation, and cell-cell junction, while negatively correlated with signatures of extracellular matrix. Forty-four differentially expressed lncRNAs were found between the Lapatinib sensitive and resistant groups (fold-change > 1.5, P < 0.01). Gene set variation analysis (GSVA) was performed based on 44 lncRNAs and genes in the top 10 pathways. Five lncRNAs were identified as hub molecules. Co-expression network was constructed by more than five lncRNAs and 199 genes in the top 10 pathways, and three lncRNAs (GIHCG, SPINT1-AS1, and MAGI2-AS3) and 47 genes were identified as close-related molecules. The three lncRNAs in epithelium-derived cancers were differentially expressed between sensitive and resistant groups, but no significance was found in non-epithelium-derived cancer cells. Correlation analysis showed that SPINT1-AS1 (R = -0.715, P < 0.001) and GIHCG (R = 0.557, P = 0.013) were correlated with the IC50 of epithelium-derived cancer cells. In further experiments, GIHCG knockdown enhanced cancer cell susceptibility to Lapatinib, while high level of SPINT1-AS1 was a sensitive biomarker of NCI-N87 and MCF7 cancer cells to Lapatinib. In conclusions, lncRNAs GIHCG and SPINT1-AS1 were involved in regulating Lapatinib sensitivity. Up-regulation of GIHCG was a drug-resistant biomarker, while up-regulation of SPINT1-AS1 was a sensitive indicator.


LncRNAs; computational analysis; lapatinib; pan-cancer; targeted therapy

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