Tang T, et al. Mol Oncol 2020.
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as crucial regulators for a myriad of biological processes, and perturbations in their cellular expression levels have often been associated with cancer pathogenesis. In this study, we identified AATBC (apoptosis associated transcript in bladder cancer, LOC284837) as a novel lncRNA. AATBC was found to be highly expressed in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), and increased AATBC expression was associated with poor survival in patients with NPC. Furthermore,
AATBC promoted migration and invasion of NPC cells in vitro, as well as metastasis in vivo. AATBC upregulated the expression of the desmosome-associated protein Pinin (PNN) through miR-1237-3p sponging. In turn, PNN interacted with the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) activator ZEB1, and upregulated ZEB1 expression to promote EMT in NPC cells. Collectively, our results indicate that AATBC promotes NPC progression through the miR-1237-3p-PNN-ZEB1 axis. Our findings indicate AATBC as a potential prognostic biomarker or therapeutic target in NPC.