AKT-induced lncRNA VAL promotes EMT-independent metastasis through diminishing Trim16-dependent Vimentin degradation

Nat Commun. 2020 Oct 12;11(1):5127. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-18929-0.


Despite the importance of AKT overactivation in tumor progression, results from clinical trials of various AKT inhibitors remain suboptimal, suggesting that AKT-driven tumor metastasis needs to be further understood. Herein, based on long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) profiling induced by active AKT, we identify that VAL (Vimentin associated lncRNA, LINC01546), which is directly induced by AKT/STAT3 signaling, functions as a potent pro-metastatic molecule and is essential for active AKT-induced tumor invasion, metastasis and anoikis resistance in lung adenocarcinoma (LAD). Impressively, chemosynthetic siRNAs against VAL shows great therapeutic potential in AKT overactivation-driven metastasis. Interestingly, similar to activated AKT in LAD cells, although unable to induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), VAL exerts potent pro-invasive and pro-metastatic effects through directly binding to Vimentin and competitively abrogating Trim16-depedent Vimentin polyubiquitination and degradation. Taken together, our study provides an interesting demonstration of a lncRNA-mediated mechanism for active AKT-driven EMT-independent LAD metastasis and indicates the great potential of targeting VAL or Vimentin stability as a therapeutic approach.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't