Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)
Takeda Science Foundation (TSF)
ARTICLE ABSTRACTAchaete-scute family bHLH transcription factor 1 (ASCL1) is a master transcription factor involved in neuroendocrine differentiation. ASCL1 is expressed in approximately 10% of lung adenocarcinomas (LUAD) and exerts tumor-promoting effects. Here, we explored miRNA profiles in ASCL1-positive LUADs and identified several miRNAs closely associated with ASCL1 expression, including miR-375, miR-95–3p/miR-95–5p, miR-124–3p, and members of the miR-17∼92 family. Similar to small cell lung cancer, Yes1 associated transcriptional regulator (YAP1), a representative miR-375 target gene, was suppressed in ASCL1-positive LUADs. ASCL1 knockdown followed by miRNA profiling in a cell culture model further revealed that ASCL1 positively regulates miR-124–3p and members of the miR-17∼92 family. Integrative transcriptomic analyses identified ZFP36 ring finger protein like 1 (ZFP36L1) as a target gene of miR-124–3p, and IHC studies demonstrated that ASCL1-positive LUADs are associated with low ZFP36L1 protein levels. Cell culture studies showed that ectopic ZFP36L1 expression inhibits cell proliferation, survival, and cell-cycle progression. Moreover, ZFP36L1 negatively regulated several genes including E2F transcription factor 1 (E2F1) and snail family transcriptional repressor 1 (SNAI1). In conclusion, our study revealed that suppression of ZFP36L1 via ASCL1-regulated miR-124–3p could modulate gene expression, providing evidence that ASCL1-mediated regulation of miRNAs shapes molecular features of ASCL1-positive LUADs.
Our study revealed unique miRNA profiles of ASCL1-positive LUADs and identified ASCL1-regulated miRNAs with functional relevance.