LncRNA TMPO-AS1 promotes esophageal squamous cell carcinoma progression by forming biomolecular condensates with FUS and p300 to regulate TMPO transcription

Exp Mol Med. 2022 Jun;54(6):834-847. doi: 10.1038/s12276-022-00791-3. Epub 2022 Jun 27.


Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the most life- and health-threatening malignant diseases worldwide, especially in China. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as important regulators of tumorigenesis and tumor progression. However, the roles and mechanisms of lncRNAs in ESCC require further exploration. Here, in combination with a small interfering RNA (siRNA) library targeting specific lncRNAs, we performed MTS and Transwell assays to screen functional lncRNAs that were overexpressed in ESCC. TMPO-AS1 expression was significantly upregulated in ESCC tumor samples, with higher TMPO-AS1 expression positively correlated with shorter overall survival times. In vitro and in vivo functional experiments revealed that TMPO-AS1 promotes the proliferation and metastasis of ESCC cells. Mechanistically, TMPO-AS1 bound to fused in sarcoma (FUS) and recruited p300 to the TMPO promoter, forming biomolecular condensates in situ to activate TMPO transcription in cis by increasing the acetylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27ac). Targeting TMPO-AS1 led to impaired ESCC tumor growth in a patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model. We found that TMPO-AS1 is required for cell proliferation and metastasis in ESCC by promoting the expression of TMPO, and both TMPO-AS1 and TMPO might be potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets in ESCC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomolecular Condensates
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Disease Progression
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma* / genetics
  • Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma* / metabolism
  • Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma* / pathology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs* / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • RNA, Long Noncoding* / genetics
  • RNA, Long Noncoding* / metabolism
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • RNA-Binding Protein FUS*
  • Thymopoietins* / genetics
  • Thymopoietins* / metabolism


  • FUS protein, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • RNA-Binding Protein FUS
  • Thymopoietins
  • TMPO protein, human