DSCAM-AS1 is a cancer-related long noncoding RNA with higher expression levels in Luminal A, B, and HER2-positive Breast Carcinoma (BC), where its expression is strongly dependent on Estrogen Receptor Alpha (ERα). DSCAM-AS1 expression is analyzed in 30 public datasets and, additionally, by qRT-PCR in tumors from 93 BC patients, to uncover correlations with clinical data. Moreover, the effect of DSCAM-AS1 knockdown on gene expression and alternative splicing is studied by RNA-Seq in MCF-7 cells. We confirm DSCAM-AS1 overexpression in high grade Luminal A, B, and HER2+ BCs and find a significant correlation with disease relapse. In total, 908 genes are regulated by DSCAM-AS1-silencing, primarily involved in the cell cycle and inflammatory response. Noteworthily, the analysis of alternative splicing and isoform regulation reveals 2085 splicing events regulated by DSCAM-AS1, enriched in alternative polyadenylation sites, 3'UTR (untranslated region) shortening and exon skipping events. Finally, the DSCAM-AS1-interacting splicing factor heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein L (hnRNPL) is predicted as the most enriched RBP for exon skipping and 3'UTR events. The relevance of DSCAM-AS1 overexpression in BC is confirmed by clinical data and further enhanced by its possible involvement in the regulation of RNA processing, which is emerging as one of the most important dysfunctions in cancer.
Keywords: RNA-Seq; alternative splicing; breast cancer; estrogen receptor; lncRNA.