C-MYC-induced upregulation of lncRNA SNHG12 regulates cell proliferation, apoptosis and migration in triple-negative breast cancer

Am J Transl Res. 2017 Feb 15;9(2):533-545. eCollection 2017.


Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is one of the most aggressive subtypes of breast cancer, with a significantly higher recurrence and mortality rate. There is an urgent need to uncover the mechanism underlying TNBC and establish therapeutic targets. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are involved in a series of biological functions and provide novel insights into the molecular mechanism of cancer. Based on their expression specificity and large number, lncRNAs are likely to serve as the basis for clinical applications in oncology. In our previous study, we utilized RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) to explore the lncRNAs expression profiles in TNBC and identified that small nucleolar RNA host gene 12 (SNHG12) was remarkably increased in TNBC. However, the role of SNHG12 in TNBC has not been clarified. Herein, we determine that SNHG12 is upregulated in TNBC, and its high expression is significantly correlated with tumor size and lymph node metastasis. Mechanistic investigations show that SNHG12 is a direct transcriptional target of c-MYC. Silencing SNHG12 expression inhibits TNBC cells proliferation and apoptosis promotion, whereas SNHG12 overexpression has the opposite effect. In addition, we reveal that SNHG12 may promote cells migration by regulating MMP13 expression. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first report indicating that SNHG12 is involved in breast cancer. Taken together, our findings suggest that SNHG12 contributes to the oncogenic potential of TNBC and may be a promising therapeutic target.

Keywords: Long non-coding RNA; SNHG12; c-MYC; triple-negative breast cancer.