1. Department of Pathology, Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai, 200011, China
2. Department of Pathology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, 200032, China;
3. Department of Oncology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, 200032, China;
4. Department of Radiation Oncology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, 200032, China.
* Yi-qin Wang, Qiong-yan Zhang and Wei-wei Weng shared the first-authorships of this article.
Background: The deubiquitinase OTUB1 plays critical oncogenic roles and facilitates tumor progression in cancer. However, less is known regarding the aberrant expression, clinical significance and biological functions of the non-coding RNA OTUB1-isoform 2. We aimed to evaluate the OTUB1-isoform 2 levels in gastric cancer and their possible correlation with clinicopathologic features and patient survival to reveal its biological effects in gastric cancer progression.
Methods: Total RNA extraction was performed on 156 gastric cancer case samples, and RT-qPCR was conducted. Chi-square test analysis was used to calculate the correlation between pathological parameters and the OTUB1-isoform 2 mRNA levels. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards analyses were used to analyze the overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) rates. Nuclear and cytoplasmic RNAs were isolated to detect the subcellular localization of OTUB1-isoform 2. We also assessed whether overexpression of OTUB1-isoform 2 influenced in vitro cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, tumor cell invasion and migration, as well as in vivo nude mouse xenograft and metastasis models.
Results: The OTUB1-isoform 2 expression levels were higher in the gastric cancer samples than in the paratumorous gland samples. OTUB1-isoform 2 expression levels tightly correlated with tumor size, lymph node metastasis and TNM staging. Higher OTUB1-isoform 2 expression levels led to significantly poorer OS and DFS rates, and a multivariate analysis revealed that OTUB1-isoform 2 was an independent risk factor for DFS. OTUB1-isoform 2 was predominantly localized in the cell nucleus. Ectopic overexpression of OTUB1-isoform 2 in gastric cancer cells stimulated proliferation by inducing G1-S transition, suppression of cell apoptosis and promotion of tumor cell invasion and migration. Finally, OTUB1-isoform 2 overexpression promoted tumor growth and tumor metastasis in nude mice models.
Conclusions: Our study suggests that OTUB1-isoform 2 independently predicts poor prognosis and promotes tumor progression in gastric cancer. The non-coding RNA OTUB1-isoform 2 should be targeted in future molecular therapies.
Keywords: OTUB1-isoform 2, gastric cancer, prognosis, proliferation, invasion.