The long non-coding RNA HOTAIRM1 promotes tumor aggressiveness and radiotherapy resistance in glioblastoma

Cell Death Dis. 2021 Sep 28;12(10):885. doi: 10.1038/s41419-021-04146-0.


Glioblastoma is the most common malignant primary brain tumor. To date, clinically relevant biomarkers are restricted to isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) gene 1 or 2 mutations and O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been shown to contribute to glioblastoma pathogenesis and could potentially serve as novel biomarkers. The clinical significance of HOXA Transcript Antisense RNA, Myeloid-Specific 1 (HOTAIRM1) was determined by analyzing HOTAIRM1 in multiple glioblastoma gene expression data sets for associations with prognosis, as well as, IDH mutation and MGMT promoter methylation status. Finally, the role of HOTAIRM1 in glioblastoma biology and radiotherapy resistance was characterized in vitro and in vivo. We identified HOTAIRM1 as a candidate lncRNA whose up-regulation is significantly associated with shorter survival of glioblastoma patients, independent from IDH mutation and MGMT promoter methylation. Glioblastoma cell line models uniformly showed reduced cell viability, decreased invasive growth and diminished colony formation capacity upon HOTAIRM1 down-regulation. Integrated proteogenomic analyses revealed impaired mitochondrial function and determination of reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels confirmed increased ROS levels upon HOTAIRM1 knock-down. HOTAIRM1 knock-down decreased expression of transglutaminase 2 (TGM2), a candidate protein implicated in mitochondrial function, and knock-down of TGM2 mimicked the phenotype of HOTAIRM1 down-regulation in glioblastoma cells. Moreover, HOTAIRM1 modulates radiosensitivity of glioblastoma cells both in vitro and in vivo. Our data support a role for HOTAIRM1 as a driver of biological aggressiveness, radioresistance and poor outcome in glioblastoma. Targeting HOTAIRM1 may be a promising new therapeutic approach.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogenesis / genetics
  • Carcinogenesis / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / genetics
  • Clone Cells
  • Down-Regulation / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Glioblastoma / genetics*
  • Glioblastoma / pathology
  • Glioblastoma / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Phenotype
  • Prognosis
  • Protein Glutamine gamma Glutamyltransferase 2 / metabolism
  • Proteogenomics
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • Radiation Tolerance / genetics*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • MIRN17 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • long non-coding RNA HOTAIRM1, human
  • Protein Glutamine gamma Glutamyltransferase 2