Long noncoding RNA LINC00514 accelerates pancreatic cancer progression by acting as a ceRNA of miR-28-5p to upregulate Rap1b expression

J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2020 Aug 8;39(1):151. doi: 10.1186/s13046-020-01660-5.


Background: Pancreatic cancer (PC) is one of the most aggressive cancers and has an extremely poor prognosis worldwide. Long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) has been reported to be a potential prognostic biomarker in the initiation and prognosis of PC. Nevertheless, the biological functions and the detailed molecular mechanism of LINC00514 in PC remain unclear.

Methods: We measured the expression level of LINC00514 in PC tissues and cell lines by quantitative real-time PCR. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments were performed to explore the bioeffects of LINC00514 on PC development both in vitro and in vivo. Subcellular fractionation, luciferase reporter assay, RNA immunoprecipitation assay, pull-down assay and western blotting were performed to investigate the oncogenic molecular mechanisms of LINC00514.

Results: In this study, LINC00514 was shown to be upregulated in PC tissues and cell lines. Increased LINC00514 expression was significantly associated with the clinical progression and prognosis of PC patients. In addition, silencing LINC00514 inhibited PC cell proliferation, migration and invasion, while LINC00514 overexpression promoted these processes. Moreover, LINC00514 knockdown remarkably inhibited PC development and metastasis in vivo. Deeper investigations indicated that LINC00514 acted as a sponge for microRNA-28-5p (miR-28-5p) in PC and that Rap1b was a downstream target of miR-28-5p. Furthermore, the positive correlation of LINC00514 and Rap1b and the negative correlation between miR-28-5p and LINC00514 (or Rap1b) were revealed. Based on the rescue assays, Rap1b inhibition partially suppressed the oncogenic effect of LINC00514 overexpression on PC cell proliferation, migration and invasion.

Conclusions: This study is the first to characterize the oncogenic function of the long noncoding RNA LINC00514 in pancreatic cancer progression by acting as a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) of miR-28-5p to upregulate Rap1b expression. Understanding this molecular mechanism might contribute to further discoveries of better diagnostic and therapeutic options for pancreatic cancer.

Keywords: Invasion; LINC00514; Pancreatic cancer; Proliferation; Rap1b; miR-28-5p.