Globally increased ultraconserved noncoding RNA expression in pancreatic adenocarcinoma
Transcribed ultraconserved regions (T-UCRs) are a class of non-coding RNAs with 100% sequence conservation among human, rat and mouse genomes. T-UCRs are differentially expressed in several cancers, however their expression in pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has not been studied. We used a qPCR array to profile all 481 T-UCRs in pancreatic cancer specimens, pancreatic cancer cell lines, during experimental pancreatic desmoplasia and in the pancreases of P48Cre/wt; KrasLSL-G12D/wt mice. Fourteen, 57 and 29% of the detectable T-UCRs were differentially expressed in the cell lines, human tumors and transgenic mouse pancreases, respectively. The vast majority of the differentially expressed T-UCRs had increased expression in the cancer. T-UCRs were monitored using an in vitro model of the desmoplastic reaction. Twenty-five % of the expressed T-UCRs were increased in the HPDE cells cultured on PANC-1 cellular matrix. UC.190, UC.233 and UC.270 were increased in all three human data sets. siRNA knockdown of each of these three T-UCRs reduced the proliferation of MIA PaCa-2 cells up to 60%. The expression pattern among many T-UCRs in the human and mouse pancreases closely correlated with one another, suggesting that groups of T-UCRs are co-activated in PDAC. Successful knockout of the transcription factor EGR1 in PANC-1 cells caused a reduction in the expression of a subset of T-UCRs suggesting that EGR1 may control T-UCR expression in PDAC. We report a global increase in expression of T-UCRs in both human and mouse PDAC. Commonalties in their expression pattern suggest a similar mechanism of transcriptional upregulation for T-UCRs in PDAC.
Supported by grants R21/R33CA114304 and U01CA111294. G.A.C. is supported as a Fellow at The University of Texas MD Anderson Research Trust, as a University of Texas System Regents Research Scholar and by the CLL Global Research Foundation. Work in Dr. Calin’s laboratory is supported in part by a 2009 Seena Magowitz–Pancreatic Cancer Action Network AACR Pilot Grant, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the RGK Foundation and the Estate of C. G. Johnson, Jr. A.C.P.A.P. was supported by NIH fellowship 5F31CA142238.
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