Background: Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as key regulators governing fundamental biological processes, and their disorder expression involves in tumorigenesis. SPRY4-IT1 (SPRY4 intronic transcript 1), a lncRNA derived from an intron within SPRY4 gene, involves in multiple cancers development. However, the expression pattern and biological function of SPRY4-IT1 in gastric cancer is still not well documented. Hence, we carried out the present study to investigate the potential role of SPRY4-IT1 in gastric carcinogenesis.
Methods: QRT-PCR was performed to detect the expression of SPRY4-IT1 in 61 pairs of gastric cancer samples. Over-expression and RNA interference (RNAi) approaches were used to investigate the biological functions of SPRY4-IT1. The effect of SPRY4-IT1 on proliferation was evaluated by MTT and colony formation assays. Gastric cancer cells transfected with pCDNA-SPRY4-IT1 were injected into nude mice to study the effect of SPRY4-IT1 on tumorigenesis and metastasis in vivo. Protein levels of SPRY4-IT1 targets were determined by western blot or fluorescence immunohistochemistry. ChIP assays were performed to investigate the effect of DNMT1 on SPRY4-IT1 expression. Differences between groups were tested for significance using Student's t test (two-tailed).
Results: SPRY4-IT1 expression is decreased in gastric cancer tissues and associated with larger tumor size, advanced pathological stage, deeper depth of invasion and lymphatic metastasis. Patients with lower SPRY4-IT1 expression had a relatively poor prognosis. DNA methylation may be a key factor in controlling the SPRY4-IT1 expression. Furthermore, SPRY4-IT1 contributed to gastric cancer cells metastasis might partly via regulating epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process.
Conclusion: Low expression of SPRY4-IT1 is involved in progression and metastasis of gastric cancer and may represent a novel biomarker of poor prognosis in patients with gastric cancer.