The long noncoding RNA LUCAT1 promotes colorectal cancer cell proliferation by antagonizing Nucleolin to regulate MYC expression

Colorectal Cancer

Cell Death Dis. 2020 Oct 23;11(10):908. doi: 10.1038/s41419-020-03095-4.


The long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) LUCAT1 was recently reported to be upregulated and to play an essential role in multiple cancer types, especially colorectal cancer (CRC), but the molecular mechanisms of LUCAT1 in CRC are mostly unreported. Here, a systematic analysis of LUACT1 expression is performed with data from TCGA database and clinic CRC samples. LUCAT1 is identified as a putative oncogene, which is significantly upregulated in CRC and is associated with poor prognosis. Loss of LUCAT1

restricts CRC proliferative capacities in vitro and in vivo. Mechanically, NCL is identified as the protein binding partner of LUCAT1 by using chromatin isolation by RNA purification coupled with mass spectrometry (ChIRP-MS) and RNA immunoprecipitation assays. We also show that NCL directly binds to LUCAT1 via its putative G-quadruplex-forming regions from nucleotides 717 to 746. The interaction between LUCAT1 and NCL interferes NCL-mediated inhibition of MYC and promote the expression of MYC. Cells lacking LUCAT1 show a decreased MYC expression, and NCL knockdown rescue LUCAT1 depletion-induced inhibition of CRC cell proliferation and MYC expression. Our results suggest that LUCAT1 plays a critical role in CRC cell proliferation by inhibiting the function of NCL via its G-quadruplex structure and may serve as a new prognostic biomarker and effective therapeutic target for CRC.