LncRNA CASC9 promotes esophageal squamous cell carcinoma metastasis through upregulating LAMC2 expression by interacting with the CREB-binding protein

Cell Death Differ. 2018 Nov;25(11):1980-1995. doi: 10.1038/s41418-018-0084-9. Epub 2018 Mar 6.


Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is the main subtype of esophageal cancer. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are thought to play a critical role in cancer development. Recently, lncRNA CASC9 was shown to be dysregulated in many cancer types, but the mechanisms whereby this occurs remain largely unknown. In this study, we found that CASC9 was significantly upregulated in ESCC tissues, with further analysis revealing that elevated CASC9 expression was associated with ESCC prognosis and metastasis. Furthermore, we found that CASC9 knockdown significantly repressed ESCC migration and invasion in vitro and metastasis in nude mice in vivo. A microarray analysis and mechanical experiments indicated that CASC9 preferentially affected gene expression linked to ECM-integrin interactions, including LAMC2, an upstream inducer of the integrin pathway. We demonstrated that LAMC2 was consistently upregulated in ESCC and promoted ESCC metastasis. LAMC2 overexpression partially compromised the decrease of cell migration and invasion capacity in CASC9 knockdowns. In addition, we found that both CASC9 and LAMC2 depletion reduced the phosphorylation of FAK, PI3K, and Akt, which are downstream effectors of the integrin pathway. Moreover, the reduction in phosphorylation caused by CASC9 depletion was rescued by LAMC2 overexpression, further confirming that CASC9 exerts a pro-metastatic role through LAMC2. Mechanistically, RNA pull-down and RNA-binding protein immunoprecipitation (RIP) assay indicated that CASC9 could bind with the transcriptional coactivator CREB-binding protein (CBP) in the nucleus. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay additionally illustrated that CASC9 increased the enrichment of CBP and H3K27 acetylation in the LAMC2 promoter, thereby upregulating LAMC2 expression. In conclusion, we demonstrate that CASC9 upregulates LAMC2 expression by binding with CBP and modifying histone acetylation. Our research reveals the prognostic and pro-metastatic roles for CASC9 in ESCC, suggesting that CASC9 could serve as a biomarker for prognosis and a target for metastasis treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CREB-Binding Protein / genetics
  • CREB-Binding Protein / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma / metabolism
  • Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma / mortality
  • Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Female
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Laminin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Laminin / genetics
  • Laminin / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / antagonists & inhibitors
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / genetics
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / metabolism*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Up-Regulation


  • Histones
  • LAMC2 protein, human
  • Laminin
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • long noncoding RNA CASC9, human
  • CREB-Binding Protein
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases