National Natural Science Foundation of China
Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation
China Postdoctoral Science Foundation
ARTICLE ABSTRACTTriple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is highly heterogeneous and has a poor prognosis. It is therefore important to identify the underlying molecular mechanisms in order to develop novel therapeutic strategies. Although emerging research has revealed long noncoding RNAs (lncRNA) as vital to carcinogenesis and cancer progression, their functional involvement in TNBC has not been well defined. In this study, we utilized the The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database and analyzed clinical samples to show that the long noncoding antisense transcript of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), NAMPT-AS, is upregulated in TNBC and is associated with poor prognosis, lymph node involvement, metastasis, and advanced stage. NAMPT-AS was cotranscribed with NAMPT from a bidirectional promoter, where the distributions of H3K4me3 and H3K27Ac chromatin modifications were enriched based on ENCODE and FANTOM5, suggesting the potential enhancer-RNA characteristics of NAMPT-AS. NAMPT-AS epigenetically regulated the expression of NAMPT in two divergent ways: NAMPT-AS recruited POU2F2 to activate the transcription of NAMPT, and NAMPT-AS acted as a competing endogenous RNA to rescue NAMPT degradation from miR-548b-3p. NAMPT-AS/NAMPT promoted tumor progression and regulated autophagy through the mTOR pathway in vitro and in vivo. In a cohort of 480 breast cancer patients, NAMPT was associated with breast cancer–specific survival and overall survival. These results demonstrate that NAMPT-AS is an oncogenic lncRNA in TNBC that epigenetically activates NAMPT to promote tumor progression and metastasis. Furthermore, these data identify NAMPT-AS/NAMPT as promising therapeutic targets in patients with TNBC.
Upregulation of the long noncoding antisense RNA of NAMPT gene (NAMPT-AS) is associated with metastasis and poor prognosis in TNBC.