Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. KRAS is the main oncogenic driver in lung cancer that can be activated by gene mutation or amplification, but whether long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) regulate its activation remains unknown. Through gain and loss of function approaches, we identified that lncRNA HIF1A-As2, a KRAS-induced lncRNA, is required for cell proliferation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and tumor propagation in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in vitro and in vivo. Integrative analysis of HIF1A-As2 transcriptomic profiling reveals that HIF1A-As2 modulates gene expression in trans, particularly regulating transcriptional factor genes including MYC. Mechanistically, HIF1A-As2 epigenetically activates MYC by recruiting DHX9 on MYC promoter, consequently stimulating the transcription of MYC and its target genes. In addition, KRAS promotes HIF1A-As2 expression via the induction of MYC, suggesting HIF1A-As2 and MYC form a double-regulatory loop to strengthen cell proliferation and tumor metastasis in lung cancer. Inhibition of HIF1A-As2 by LNA GapmeR antisense oligonucleotides (ASO) significantly improves sensitization to 10058-F4 (a MYC-specific inhibitor) and cisplatin treatment in PDX and KRASLSLG12D-driven lung tumors, respectively.
© 2023. The Author(s).