Featured long non-coding RNA – MEG3

Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged recently as major players in governing fundamental biological processes, and many of which are altered in expression and likely to have a functional role in tumorigenesis. Maternally expressed gene 3 (MEG3) is an imprinted gene located at 14q32 that encodes a lncRNA associated with various human cancers. However, its biological role and clinical significance in gastric cancer development and progression are unknown.

In this study, researchers at the Nanjing Medical University, China conducted quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction to investigate the lncRNA MEG3 expression in gastric cancer. They found that MEG3 levels were markedly decreased in gastric cancer tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues. Its expression level was significantly correlated with TNM stages, depth of invasion, and tumor size. Moreover, patients with low levels of MEG3 expression had a relatively poor prognosis. Furthermore, knockdown of MEG3 expression by siRNA could promote cell proliferation, while ectopic expression of MEG3 inhibited cell proliferation, promoted cell apoptosis, and modulated p53 expression in gastric cancer cell lines. By 5-aza-CdR treatment, they also observed that MEG3 expression can be modulated by DNA methylation. These findings present that MEG3 downexpression can be identified as a poor prognostic biomarker in gastric cancer and regulate cell proliferation and apoptosis in vitro.

  • Sun M, Xia R, Jin F, Xu T, Liu Z, De W, Liu X. (2013) Downregulated long noncoding RNA MEG3 is associated with poor prognosis and promotes cell proliferation in gastric cancer. Tumour Biol [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

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