Recent studies have shown that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are involved in a variety of biological processes and diseases in humans, including cancer. Our study serves as the first comprehensive analysis of lncRNA TP73-AS1 in esophageal cancer. We utilized a lncRNA microarray to analyze the expression profile of lncRNAs in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Our results show that lncRNA TP73-AS1 and BDH2 levels are generally upregulated in esophageal cancer tissues and are strongly correlated with tumor location or TNM stage in clinical samples. LncRNA TP73-AS1 knockdown inhibited BDH2 expression in EC9706 and KYSE30 cells, whereas BDH2 knockdown repressed esophageal cancer cell proliferation and induced apoptosis via the caspase-3 dependent apoptotic pathway. Overexpression of BDH2 in lncRNA TP73-AS1 knockdown cells partially rescued cell proliferation rates and suppressed apoptosis. In mouse xenografts, tumor size was reduced in lncRNA TP73-ASI siRNA-transfected tumors, suggesting that downregulation of lncRNA TP73-AS1 attenuated EC proliferation in vitro and in vivo. In addition, BDH2 or lncRNA TP73-AS1 knockdown enhanced the chemosensitivity of esophageal cancer cells to 5-FU and cisplatin. Our results suggest that lncRNA TP73-AS1 may be a novel prognostic biomarker that could serve as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of esophageal cancer.
Keywords: BDH2; LncRNA TP73-AS1; biomarker; chemosensitivity; esophageal cancer.