The long non-coding RNA MYCNOS-01 regulates MYCN protein levels and affects growth of MYCN-amplified rhabdomyosarcoma and neuroblastoma cells

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Abstract

Background: MYCN is amplified in small cell lung cancers and several pediatric tumors, including alveolar rhabdomyosarcomas and neuroblastomas. MYCN protein is known to play a key oncogenic role in both alveolar rhabdomyosarcomas and neuroblastomas. MYCN opposite strand (MYCNOS) is a gene located on the antisense strand to MYCN that encodes alternatively spliced transcripts, two of which (MYCNOS-01 and MYCNOS-02) are known to be expressed in neuroblastoma and small cell lung cancer with reciprocal regulation between MYCNOS-02 and MYCN reported for neuroblastomas. We sought to determine a functional role for MYCNOS-01 in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma and neuroblastoma cells and identify any associated regulatory effects between MYCN and MYCNOS-01. Methods: MYCNOS-01, MYCNOS-02 and MYCN expression levels were assessed in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma and neuroblastoma cell lines and tumor samples from patients using Affymetrix microarray data and quantitative RT-PCR. Following MYCNOS-01 or MYCN siRNA knockdown and MYCNOS-01 overexpression, transcript levels were assayed by quantitative RT-PCR and MYCN protein expression assessed by Western blot and immunofluorescence. Additionally, effects on cell growth, apoptosis and cell cycle profiles were determined by a metabolic assay, caspase activity and flow cytometry, respectively. Results: MYCNOS-01 transcript levels were generally higher in NB and RMS tumor samples and cell lines with MYCN genomic amplification. RNA interference of MYCNOS-01 expression did not alter MYCN transcript levels but decreased MYCN protein levels. Conversely, MYCN reduction increased MYCNOS-01 transcript levels, creating a negative feedback loop on MYCN protein levels. Reduction of MYCNOS-01 or MYCN expression decreased cell growth in MYCN-amplified alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma and neuroblastoma cell lines. This is consistent with MYCNOS-01-mediated regulation of MYCN contributing to the phenotype observed. Conclusions: An alternative transcript of MYCNOS, MYCNOS-01, post-transcriptionally regulates MYCN levels and affects growth in MYCN-amplified rhabdomyosarcoma and neuroblastoma cells.

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O’Brien, E. M., Selfe, J. L., Martins, A. S., Walters, Z. S., & Shipley, J. M. (2018). The long non-coding RNA MYCNOS-01 regulates MYCN protein levels and affects growth of MYCN-amplified rhabdomyosarcoma and neuroblastoma cells. BMC Cancer, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12885-018-4129-8

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