Long non-coding RNA LINC00968 attenuates drug resistance of breast cancer cells through inhibiting the Wnt2/β-catenin signaling pathway by regulating WNT2

J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2019 Feb 21;38(1):94. doi: 10.1186/s13046-019-1100-8.


Background: Breast cancer is one the most common cancers, making it the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), with tightly regulated expression patterns, also serve as tumor suppressor during tumorigenesis. The present study aimed to elucidate the role of LINC00968 in breast cancer via WNT2-mediated Wnt2/β-catenin signaling pathway.

Methods: Breast cancer chip GSE26910 was utilized to identify differential expression in LINC00968 and WNT2. The possible relationship among LINC00968, transcriptional repressor HEY and WNT2 was analyzed and then verified. Effects of LINC00968 on activation of the Wnt2/β-catenin signaling pathway was also tested. Drug resistance, colony formation, cell migration, invasion ability and cell apoptosis after transfection were also determined. Furthermore, tumor xenograft in nude mice was performed to test tumor growth and weight in vivo.

Results: WNT2 expression exhibited at a high level, whereas LINC00968 at a low expression in breast cancer which was also associated with poor prognosis in patients. LINC00968 targeted and negatively regulated WNT2 potentially via HEY1. Either overexpressed LINC00968 or silenced inhibited activation of the Wnt2/β-catenin signaling pathway, thereby reducing drug resistance, decreasing colony formation ability, as well as suppressing migration and invasion abilities of breast cancer cells in addition to inducing apoptosis. Lastly, in vivo experiment suggested that LINC00968 overexpression also suppressed transplanted tumor growth in nude mice.

Conclusion: Collectively, overexpressed LINC00968 contributes to reduced drug resistance in breast cancer cells by inhibiting the activation of the Wnt2/β-catenin signaling pathway through silencing WNT2. This study offers a new target for the development of breast cancer treatment.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Drug resistance; HEY1; LINC00968; WNT2; Wnt2/β-catenin signaling pathway.

Publication types

  • Retracted Publication

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carcinogenesis / genetics
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / genetics*
  • Wnt2 Protein / genetics*
  • beta Catenin / genetics*


  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • LINC00978 long noncoding RNA, human
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • WNT2 protein, human
  • Wnt2 Protein
  • beta Catenin