Long noncoding RNA SBF2-AS1 is upregulated in NSCLC and promotes proliferation of NSCLC tumor cells

Recent evidence has proven that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important roles in cancer biology, while few lncRNAs have been characterized in NSCLC. Here, we characterized a novel lncRNA, SBF2 antisense RNA 1 (SBF2-AS1), in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Researchers at Nanjing Medical University used quantitative real-time PCR to quantify SBF2-AS1 expression in NSCLC tissues and cell lines. The correlation of SBF2-AS1 expression with clinicopathologic features was analyzed in a cohort NSCLC patient. Loss of function and gain of function studies were performed to determine the effects of SBF2-AS1 on proliferation and metastasis of NSCLC cells. RNA immunoprecipitation and chromosome immunoprecipitation assay was performed to confirm the interaction between SBF2-AS1 with protein and chromosome.

The researchers confirmed that SBF2-AS1 was significantly upregulated in NSCLC compared with corresponding non-tumor tissues, and a high expression level of SBF2-AS1 was correlated with lymph node metastasis and advanced TNM stage. Using siRNAs specifically targeting SBF2-AS1 and plasmid vector, they successfully silenced and overexpressed SBF2-AS1 in NSCCLC cell lines and investigated its biological function both in vitro and in vivo. After the silencing of SBF2-AS1, the metastasis of NSCLC cells was significantly inhibited, the silencing of SBF2-AS1 decreased the proliferation of NSCLC cells, and the cell cycle was arrested at the G1 phase; while overexpression promoted proliferation ability. Xenograft tumor models revealed that the silencing of SBF2-AS1 inhibited tumor growth in vivo. The researchers speculated that SBF2-AS1 might negatively regulate P21. RNA immunoprecipitation discovered that SBF2-AS2 could bind with a core component of polycomb repressive complex2, SUZ12. Additionally chromatin immunoprecipitation assay demonstrated that, after silencing SBF2-AS1, the enrichment of SUZ12 and trimethylation of histone 3 lysine 27 decreased at the promoter region of P21.

Xenograft tumor models were developed in nude mice by A549 cells
transfected with NC and siRNA targeting SBF2-AS1.


The xenograft tumor volume (a, b,  c) and weight (d) in the SBF2-AS1 siRNA group were significantly lower than those in the NC group. Immunohistochemistry assay showed that Ki-67 staining was weaker in the siRNA group (e)

SBF2-AS1 may serve as a novel biomarker and potential therapeutic target for NSCLC patients.

Lv J, Qiu M, Xia W, Liu C, Xu Y, Wang J, Leng X, Huang S, Zhu R, Zhao M, Ji F, Xu L, Xu K, Yin R. (2016) High expression of long non-coding RNA SBF2-AS1 promotes proliferation in non-small cell lung cancer. J Exp Clin Cancer Res 35(1):75. [article]

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