Purpose The biological function of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) is only partially understood; therefore, in this study, we investigated the expression of the novel HOXA11 antisense (HOXA11as) lncRNA and its oncogenic role in serous ovarian cancer (SOC). Materials and Methods HOXA11as expression was examined in 129 SOC tissue samples by real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Clinicopathological factors and patient survival were compared between the high (n=27) and low HOXA11as expression group (n=102). To investigate the role of HOXA11as in cell proliferation, invasion, and migration, HOXA11as expression in ovarian cancer cells was knocked down using RNA interference. Results HOXA11as expression in cancer tissue was 77-fold higher than that of noncancerous tissue (p < 0.05). Higher HOXA11as expression was significantly correlated with histological grade (p=0.017) and preoperative cancer antigen 125 (p=0.048). HOXA11as overexpression in SOC cells led to increased cell proliferation, invasion, and migration. Moreover, HOXA11as was associated with the expression of genes involved in cell invasion, migration, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), including vascular endothelial growth factor, matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), B-catenin, E-cadherin, Snail, Twist, and vimentin. Multivariate analysis revealed that HOXA11as was a prognostic factor of progressive disease and mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 1.730; p=0.043 and HR, 2.170; p=0.033, respectively). Progression- free and overall survival were significantly shorter in patients with high HOXA11as expression. Conclusion These findings highlight the clinical significance of HOXA11as to predicting the prognosis of SOC patients and suggest its potential in promoting tumor aggressiveness via regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), MMP-9, and EMT-related mechanisms.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (NRF-2015R1A2A2A01008162; NRF-2015R1C1-A2A01053516).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research