Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research
Background: Actin filament-associated protein 1 antisense RNA 1 (AFAP1-AS1), a long noncoding RNA, is significantly highly expressed and associated with metastasis and poor prognosis in many cancers, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). In this study, we aim to identify the role of AFAP1-AS1 acting as an oncogenic lncRNA to promote NPC metastasis.
Methods: The role of AFAP1-AS1, miR-423-5p, and FOSL2 in NPC metastasis was investigated in vitro and in vivo. Bioinformatics analysis and luciferase activity assays were used to identify the interaction between AFAP1-AS1, miR-423- 5p, and FOSL2. Additionally, real-time PCR and western blotting were used to assess the function of AFAP1-AS1 acting as an oncogenic lncRNA to promote NPC progression by regulating miR-423-5p and the downstream Rho/Rac pathway.
Results: In this study, we determined that AFAP1-AS1 functions as a competing endogenous RNA in NPC to regulate the Rho/Rac pathway through miR-423-5p. These interactions can mediate the expression of RAB11B, LASP1, and FOSL2 and accelerate cell migration and invasion via the Rho/Rac signaling pathway or FOSL2. AFAP1-AS1 and FOSL2 could competitively bind with miR-423-5p to regulate several molecules, including RAB11B and LASP1 of the Rho/Rac signaling pathway. AFAP1-AS1 can also regulate the expression of LASP1, which was transcriptionally regulated by FOSL2, resulting in increased migration and invasion of NPC cells via the Rho/Rac signaling pathway.
Conclusions: The observations in this study identify an important role for AFAP1-AS1 as a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) in NPC pathogenesis and indicate that it may serve as a potential target for cancer diagnosis and treatment.
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Lian, Yu; Xiong, Fang; Yang, Liting; Bo, Hao; Gong, Zhaojian; Wang, Yumin; Wei, Fang; Tang, Yanyan; Li, Xiayu; Liao, Qianjin; Wang, Hui; Zhou, Ming; Xiang, Bo; Wu, Xu; Li, Yong; Li, Xiaoling; Chen, Xiang; Li, Guiyuan; Guo, Can; Zeng, Zhaoyang; and Xiong, Wei, "Long noncoding RNA AFAP1-AS1 acts as a competing endogenous RNA of miR-423-5p to facilitate nasopharyngeal carcinoma metastasis through regulating the Rho/Rac pathway" (2018). Chemistry Faculty Publications. 13.