Overexpressed Malat1 Drives Metastasis through Inflammatory Reprogramming of Lung Adenocarcinoma Microenvironment

bioRxiv. 2023 Mar 23:2023.03.20.533534. doi: 10.1101/2023.03.20.533534. Preprint


Metastasis is the main cause of cancer deaths but the molecular events leading to metastatic dissemination remain incompletely understood. Despite reports linking aberrant expression of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) with increased metastatic incidence , in vivo evidence establishing driver roles for lncRNAs in metastatic progression is lacking. Here, we report that overexpression of the metastasis-associated lncRNA Malat1 (metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1) in the autochthonous K-ras/p53 mouse model of lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) is sufficient to drive cancer progression and metastatic dissemination. We show that increased expression of endogenous Malat1 RNA cooperates with p53 loss to promote widespread LUAD progression to a poorly differentiated, invasive, and metastatic disease. Mechanistically, we observe that Malat1 overexpression leads to the inappropriate transcription and paracrine secretion of the inflammatory cytokine, Ccl2, to augment the mobility of tumor and stromal cells in vitro and to trigger inflammatory responses in the tumor microenvironment in vivo . Notably, Ccl2 blockade fully reverses cellular and organismal phenotypes of Malat1 overexpression. We propose that Malat1 overexpression in advanced tumors activates Ccl2 signaling to reprogram the tumor microenvironment to an inflammatory and pro-metastatic state.

Publication types

  • Preprint