Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common and aggressive human malignancies worldwide. Long non-coding (lnc) RNAs regulate complex cellular functions, such as cell growth, differentiation, metabolism, and metastasis. Although deregulation of lncRNA expression has been detected in HCC, many of the hepato-carcinogenesis-associated lncRNAs remain yet unidentified. Here, we aimed to investigate the involvement of a specific HCC-dysregulated lncRNA, FAM215A, and characterize its molecular regulation mechanism. We show for the first time that FAM215A is overexpressed in HCC, and its expression level correlates with tumor size, vascular invasion, and pathology stage. Overexpression of FAM215A accelerates cell proliferation and metastasis in HCC cells. According to Gene Expression Omnibus Dataset analysis, FAM215A is induced in doxorubicin (DOX)-resistant HCC cells. Overexpression of FAM215A increases DOX resistance in two HCC cell lines, and this is associated with enhanced expression of lysosome-associated membrane protein 2 (LAMP2). FAM215A interacts with LAMP2 to protect it from ubiquitination. Together, our results show that the lncRNA, FAM215A, is highly expressed in HCC, where it interacts with and stabilizes LAMP2 to increase tumor progression while decreasing doxorubicin sensitivity.
Keywords: FAM215A; HCC; LAMP2; Long non-coding RNA; Lysosome.