Exosomal long noncoding RNA MLETA1 promotes tumor progression and metastasis by regulating the miR-186-5p/EGFR and miR-497-5p/IGF1R axes in non-small cell lung cancer

Xiu Rui Hsu, Jia En Wu, Yi Ying Wu, Sheng Yen Hsiao, Jui Lin Liang, Ya Ju Wu, Chia Hao Tung, Meng Fan Huang, Ming Shiu Lin, Pan Chyr Yang, Yuh Ling Chen, Tse Ming Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Lung cancer is the most common and deadliest cancer worldwide, and approximately 90% of all lung cancer deaths are caused by tumor metastasis. Tumor-derived exosomes could potentially promote tumor metastasis through the delivery of metastasis-related molecules. However, the function and underlying mechanism of exosomal long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) in lung cancer metastasis remain largely unclear. Methods: Cell exosomes were purified from conditioned media by differential ultracentrifugation and observed using transmission electron microscopy, and the size distributions were determined by nanoparticle tracking analysis. Exosomal lncRNA sequencing (lncRNA-seq) was used to identify long noncoding RNAs. Cell migration and invasion were determined by wound-healing assays, two-chamber transwell invasion assays and cell mobility tracking. Mice orthotopically and subcutaneously xenografted with human cancer cells were used to evaluate tumor metastasis in vivo. Western blot, qRT‒PCR, RNA-seq, and dual-luciferase reporter assays were performed to investigate the potential mechanism. The level of exosomal lncRNA in plasma was examined by qRT‒PCR. MS2-tagged RNA affinity purification (MS2-TRAP) assays were performed to verify lncRNA-bound miRNAs. Results: Exosomes derived from highly metastatic lung cancer cells promoted the migration and invasion of lung cancer cells with low metastatic potential. Using lncRNA-seq, we found that a novel lncRNA, lnc-MLETA1, was upregulated in highly metastatic cells and their secreted exosomes. Overexpression of lnc-MLETA1 augmented cell migration and invasion of lung cancer. Conversely, knockdown of lnc-MLETA1 attenuated the motility and metastasis of lung cancer cells. Interestingly, exosome-transmitted lnc-MLETA1 promoted cell motility and metastasis of lung cancer. Reciprocally, targeting lnc-MLETA1 with an LNA suppressed exosome-induced lung cancer cell motility. Mechanistically, lnc-MLETA1 regulated the expression of EGFR and IGF1R by sponging miR-186-5p and miR-497-5p to facilitate cell motility. The clinical datasets revealed that lnc-MLETA1 is upregulated in tumor tissues and predicts survival in lung cancer patients. Importantly, the levels of exosomal lnc-MLETA1 in plasma were positively correlated with metastasis in lung cancer patients. Conclusions: This study identifies lnc-MLETA1 as a critical exosomal lncRNA that mediates crosstalk in lung cancer cells to promote cancer metastasis and may serve as a prognostic biomarker and potential therapeutic target for lung cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number283
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Exosomal long noncoding RNA MLETA1 promotes tumor progression and metastasis by regulating the miR-186-5p/EGFR and miR-497-5p/IGF1R axes in non-small cell lung cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this