Increasing evidence suggests that aberrant long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are significantly correlated with the pathogenesis, development and metastasis of cancers. RHPN1 antisense RNA 1 (RHPN1-AS1) is a 2030-bp transcript originating from human chromosome 8q24. However, the role of RHPN1-AS1 in uveal melanoma (UM) remains to be clarified. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the molecular function of RHPN1-AS1 in UM. The RNA levels of RHPN1-AS1 in UM cell lines were examined using the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) were designed to quench RHPN1-AS1 expression, and UM cells stably expressing short hairpin (sh) RHPN1-AS1 were established. Next, the cell proliferation and migration abilities were determined using a colony formation assay and a transwell migration/invasion assay. A tumor xenograft model in nude mice was established to confirm the function of RHPN1-AS1 in vivo. RHPN1-AS1 was significantly upregulated in a number of UM cell lines compared with the normal human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell line. RHPN1-AS1 knockdown significantly inhibited UM cell proliferation and migration in vitro and in vivo. Our data suggest that RHPN1-AS1 could be an oncoRNA in UM, which may serve as a candidate prognostic biomarker and target for new therapies in malignant UM.
Keywords: RHPN1-AS1; lncRNA; migration; uveal melanoma.