American Association for Cancer Research
00085472can182520-sup-206990_2_supp_5361889_pnc67l.docx (1.15 MB)

Figure S4 from Oncogenic Properties of the Antisense lncRNA COMET in BRAF- and RET-Driven Papillary Thyroid Carcinomas

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-31, 03:01 authored by Roberta Esposito, Daniela Esposito, Pierlorenzo Pallante, Alfredo Fusco, Alfredo Ciccodicola, Valerio Costa

FOSL2 expression in papillary thyroid carcinoma


Italian Association for Cancer Research



RET rearrangements as well as BRAF and RAS mutations drive differential pathway activation in papillary thyroid carcinomas, leading to different tumor phenotypes and prognoses. Although The Cancer Genome Atlas Consortium has identified tumor subgroups based on protein-coding gene signatures, neither expression of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNA) nor their correlation with specific tumor-driving mutations and rearrangements have been systematically assessed. Here, we reanalyzed our RNA-sequencing data using a de novo discovery approach to identify lncRNAs and define tumor subtype-specific signatures of annotated lncRNAs. Among them, we identified COMET (Correlated-to-MET), a natural antisense transcript that was highly expressed in carcinomas harboring BRAFV600E mutation or RET gene rearrangements (i.e., BRAF-like tumors) and induced the downstream MAPK pathway. In papillary thyroid carcinomas, COMET was part of a coexpression network including different oncogenes belonging to the MAPK pathway, and its expression highly correlated with MET expression. Depletion of COMET resulted in reduced expression of genes within this network, including the MET oncogene. COMET repression inhibited viability and proliferation of tumor cells harboring BRAFV600E somatic mutation or RET oncogene rearrangement and dramatically reduced motility and invasiveness of tumor cells. Moreover, silencing COMET markedly increased sensitivity to vemurafenib, a common inhibitor of mutated B-raf. Collectively, our results suggest COMET as a new target to improve drug-based cancer therapies, especially in BRAF-mutated and MET-addicted papillary thyroid carcinomas. These results highlight the oncogenic role of lncRNA COMET in thyroid and indicate it as a potential new target to overcome vemurafenib resistance in BRAF-mutated and MET-addicted carcinomas.

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