Oct4 transcriptionally regulates the expression of long non-coding RNAs NEAT1 and MALAT1 to promote lung cancer progression

Jayu Jen, Yen An Tang, Ying Hung Lu, Che Chung Lin, Wu Wei Lai, Yi Ching Wang

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187 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Oct4, a key stemness transcription factor, is overexpressed in lung cancer. Here, we reveal a novel transcription regulation of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) by Oct4. LncRNAs have emerged as important players in cancer progression. Methods: Oct4 chromatin-immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-sequencing and several lncRNA databases with literature annotation were integrated to identify Oct4-regulated lncRNAs. Luciferase activity, qRT-PCR and ChIP-PCR assays were conducted to examine transcription regulation of lncRNAs by Oct4. Reconstitution experiments of Oct4 and downstream lncRNAs in cell proliferation, migration and invasion assays were performed to confirm the Oct4-lncRNAs signaling axes in promoting lung cancer cell growth and motility. The expression correlations between Oct4 and lncRNAs were investigated in 124 lung cancer patients using qRT-PCR analysis. The clinical significance of Oct4/lncRNAs signaling axes were further evaluated using multivariate Cox regression and Kaplan-Meier analyses. Results: We confirmed that seven lncRNAs were upregulated by direct binding of Oct4. Among them, nuclear paraspeckle assembly transcript 1 (NEAT1), metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1) and urothelial carcinoma-associated 1 (UCA1) were validated as Oct4 transcriptional targets through promoter or enhancer activation. We showed that lung cancer cells overexpressing NEAT1 or MALAT1 and the Oct4-silenced cells reconstituted with NEAT1 or MALAT1 promoted cell proliferation, migration and invasion. In addition, knockdown of NEAT1 or MALAT1 abolished Oct4-mediated lung cancer cell growth and motility. These cell-based results suggested that Oct4/NEAT1 or Oct4/MALAT1 axis promoted oncogenesis. Clinically, Oct4/NEAT1/MALAT1 co-overexpression was an independent factor for prediction of poor outcome in 124 lung cancer patients. Conclusions: Our study reveals a novel mechanism by which Oct4 transcriptionally activates NEAT1 via promoter and MALAT1 via enhancer binding to promote cell proliferation and motility, and led to lung tumorigenesis and poor prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104
JournalMolecular cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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