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The positive feedback loop between ILF3 and lncRNA ILF3-AS1 promotes melanoma proliferation, migration, and invasion

Authors Gao G, Li W, Liu S, Han D, Yao X, Jin J, Han D, Sun W, Chen X

Received 7 September 2018

Accepted for publication 11 October 2018

Published 11 December 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 6791—6802

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S186777

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Chien-Feng Li


Guozhen Gao,1,* Wenjun Li,2,* Sha Liu,1,* Dongmei Han,1 Xingwei Yao,1 Juanjuan Jin,1 Dezhi Han,1 Weijing Sun,1 Xiangjun Chen1

1Department of Burn and Plastic Surgery, The 253rd Hospital of PLA, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia 010051, China; 2Department of Cardio and Nephrology, The 253rd Hospital of PLA, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia 010051, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: In our previous study, we identified that lncRNA ILF3 antisense RNA 1 (ILF3-AS1) is increased and has oncogenic roles in melanoma. However, the cause of the upregulation of ILF3-AS1 and the modulation between ILF3-AS1 and ILF3 in melanoma are still unknown. This study aimed to investigate the significances of the interaction between ILF3-AS1 and ILF3 in melanoma.
Materials and methods: The expression of ILF3 in melanoma tissues and cell lines was measured by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). The interactions between ILF3-AS1 and ILF3 were explored by the RNA immunoprecipitation assay, the transcription inhibition assay, qRT-PCR, the chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, and Western blot. Gain-of-function and loss-of-function assays were performed to investigate the effects of ILF3 and ILF3-AS1 on melanoma proliferation, migration, and invasion.
Results: ILF3 is also increased in melanoma tissues and cell lines. Increased expression of ILF3 predicts poor survival of melanoma patients. Mechanistic investigation revealed that ILF3 directly binds ILF3-AS1, increases ILF3-AS1 transcript stability, and upregulates ILF3-AS1 transcript levels. ILF3-AS1 represses the binding of EZH2 to the promoter of ILF3, induces euchromatin formation at ILF3 promoter, and activates ILF3 transcription. Thus, ILF3 and ILF3-AS1 form positive feedback loop, which induces the upregulation of ILF3 and ILF3-AS1 in melanoma. The expression of ILF3-AS1 is positively correlated with ILF3 in melanoma tissues. Functional assays revealed that overexpression of ILF3 promotes melanoma proliferation, migration, and invasion. Depletion of ILF3 inhibits melanoma proliferation, migration, and invasion. Moreover, concurrent depletion of ILF3 and ILF3-AS1 significantly suppresses melanoma proliferation, migration, and invasion.
Conclusion: Both ILF3-AS1 and ILF3 are increased in melanoma. ILF3-AS1 and ILF3 positively regulate each other. Concurrent targeting ILF3-AS1 and ILF3 has significant tumor-suppressive roles in melanoma. Our data suggested that targeting the positive feedback loop between ILF3 and ILF3-AS1 may be promising therapeutic strategies for melanoma.

Keywords: lncRNA, ILF3-AS1, feedback loop, ILF3, melanoma, progression

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