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Background: Lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. However, the roles of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) hijacked by super-enhancers (SEs), vital regulatory elements of the epigenome, remain elusive in the progression of LUAD metastasis. Methods: SE-associated lncRNA microarrays were used to identify the dysregulated lncRNAs in LUAD. ChIP-seq, Hi-C data analysis, and luciferase reporter assays were utilized to confirm the hijacking of LINC01977 by SE. The functions and mechanisms of LINC01977 in LUAD were explored by a series of in vitro and in vivo assays. Results: We found that LINC01977, a cancer-testis lncRNA, was hijacked by SE, which promoted proliferation and invasion both in vitro and in vivo. LINC01977 interacted with SMAD3 to induce its nuclear transport, which facilitated the interaction between SMAD3 and CBP/P300, thereby regulating the downstream target gene ZEB1. Additionally, SMAD3 up-regulated LINC09177 transcription by simultaneously binding the promoter and SE, which was induced by the infiltration of M2-like tumor-associated macrophages (TAM2), subsequently activating the TGF-β/SMAD3 pathway. Moreover, LINC01977 expression was positively correlated with TAM2 infiltration and SMAD3 expression, especially in early-stage LUAD. Higher chromatin accessibility in the SE region of LINC01977 was observed with high expression of TGF-β. Early-stage LUAD patients with high LIN01977 expression had a shorter disease-free survival. Conclusions: TAM2 infiltration induced a rich TGF-β microenvironment, activating SMAD3 to bind the promoter and the SE of LINC01977, which up-regulated LINC01977 expression. LINC01977 also promoted malignancy via the canonical TGF-β/SMAD3 pathway. LINC01977 hijacked by SE could be a valuable therapeutic target, especially for the treatment of early-stage LUAD.
Zhang, T., Xia, W., Song, X., Mao, Q., Huang, X., Chen, B., … Jiang, F. (2022). Super-enhancer hijacking LINC01977 promotes malignancy of early-stage lung adenocarcinoma addicted to the canonical TGF-β/SMAD3 pathway. Journal of Hematology and Oncology, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13045-022-01331-2
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