LncRNA ADPGK-AS1 promotes pancreatic cancer progression through activating ZEB1-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition

Cancer Biol Ther. 2018 Jul 3;19(7):573-583. doi: 10.1080/15384047.2018.1423912. Epub 2018 Apr 19.


Objective: This study was conducted to investigate the effects of ADP dependent glucokinase antisense RNA 1 (ADPGK-AS1)/ miR-205-5p/ zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1) on PC cells.

Methods: Differentially expressed lncRNAs and miRNAs in pancreatic cancer (PC) were identified by microarray analysis. In silico ceRNA analysis was conducted to find out the interactions among lncRNAs, miRNAs and mRNAs. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was utilized to examine the expression of miR-205-5p and lncRNA ADPGK-AS1 in PC and non-cancerous cells. The association between miR-205-5p and ADPGK-AS1 as well as miR-205-5p and ZEB1 was determined by dual-luciferase reporter gene assay. After manipulating the expression of ADPGK-AS1, mir-205-5p and ZEB1 in PANC-1 and SW-1990 cells, cell proliferation, migration, invasion and apoptosis were respectively confirmed by cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay, transwell assay and TUNEL. Western blot was applied to examine the expression of Epithelial-mesenchymal Transition-related proteins. In vivo experiment was conducted to further determine the effect of miR-205-5p/ZEB1 on tumorigenic ability of PC cells.

Results: MiR-205-5p was low-expressed while ZEB1 and ADPGK-AS1 were high-expressed in PC tissues and cells compared with the normal. Dual-luciferase reporter gene assay proved that ADPGK-AS1 could directly target miR-205-5p and miR-205-5p could directly target ZEB1 3'UTR. The expression of MiR-205-5p was negatively correlated with proliferation, migration and invasion, and positively correlated with apoptosis rate of PC cells, while ZEB1 and ADPGK-AS1 had an inversed effect. Further in vitro and in vivo investigation indicated that epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) could be restrained by miR-205-5p through targeting ZEB1. ADPGK-AS1 strongly promoted the tumorigenesis via downregulating miR-205-5p expression and induced the EMT process in vivo.

Conclusion: ADPGK-AS1 inhibited miR-205-5p and therefore promoted PC progression through activating ZEB1-induced EMT.

Keywords: ADPGK-AS1; EMT; ZEB1; miR-205-5p; pancreatic cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions / genetics
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Carcinogenesis / genetics
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Disease Progression
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / genetics
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / metabolism*
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays
  • Zinc Finger E-box-Binding Homeobox 1 / genetics*
  • Zinc Finger E-box-Binding Homeobox 1 / metabolism


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • MIRN205 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • ZEB1 protein, human
  • Zinc Finger E-box-Binding Homeobox 1

Grant support

This work was supported by The Key Research and Development Projects of Shandong Province [grant number 2017GSF218022].