Stress-induced lncRNA LASTR fosters cancer cell fitness by regulating the activity of the U4/U6 recycling factor SART3

Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Mar 18;48(5):2502-2517. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkz1237.


Dysregulated splicing is a common event in cancer even in the absence of mutations in the core splicing machinery. The aberrant long non-coding transcriptome constitutes an uncharacterized level of regulation of post-transcriptional events in cancer. Here, we found that the stress-induced long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), LINC02657 or LASTR (lncRNA associated with SART3 regulation of splicing), is upregulated in hypoxic breast cancer and is essential for the growth of LASTR-positive triple-negative breast tumors. LASTR is upregulated in several types of epithelial cancers due to the activation of the stress-induced JNK/c-JUN pathway. Using a mass-spectrometry based approach, we identified the RNA-splicing factor SART3 as a LASTR-interacting partner. We found that LASTR promotes splicing efficiency by controlling SART3 association with the U4 and U6 small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNP) during spliceosome recycling. Intron retention induced by LASTR depletion downregulates expression of essential genes, ultimately decreasing the fitness of cancer cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / metabolism*
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genes, Essential
  • Humans
  • Introns / genetics
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • RNA Splicing / genetics
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / genetics
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / metabolism*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Ribonucleoprotein, U4-U6 Small Nuclear / metabolism*
  • Stress, Physiological*
  • Up-Regulation / genetics


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ribonucleoprotein, U4-U6 Small Nuclear
  • SART3 protein, human