Long noncoding RNA HNF1A-AS1 regulates proliferation and apoptosis of glioma through activation of the JNK signaling pathway via miR-363-3p/MAP2K4

J Cell Physiol. 2021 Feb;236(2):1068-1082. doi: 10.1002/jcp.29916. Epub 2020 Aug 10.


Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been proven to exert important functions in the various biological processes of human cancers. It has been reported that lncRNA HNF1 homeobox A antisense RNA 1 (HNF1A-AS1) was abnormally expressed and played a role in the initiation and development of various human cancers. In this study, we confirmed that the expression level of HNF1A-AS1 was increased in glioma tissues and cells. Knockdown of HNF1A-AS1 inhibited cell proliferation and promoted cell apoptosis in glioma. Then, we disclosed the downregulation of miR-363-3p in glioma tissues and cell lines. The interaction between HNF1A-AS1 and miR-363-3p was identified in glioma cells. Furthermore, an inverse correlation between HNF1A-AS1 and miR-363-3p was observed in glioma tissues. Afterwards, we recognized that MAP2K4 was a direct target of miR-363-3p. The expression of MAP2K4 was negatively correlated with miR-363-3p while positively related to HNF1A-AS1 in glioma tissues. We also found the regulatory effect of HNF1A-AS1 on the MAP2K4-dependent JNK signaling pathway. All findings indicated that HNF1A-AS1 induces the upregulation of MAP2K4 to activate the JNK signaling pathway to promote glioma cell growth by acting as a miR-363-3p sponge.

Keywords: HNF1A-AS1; JNK signaling pathway; MAP2K4; glioma; miR-363-3p.