CircFOXK2 Promotes Growth and Metastasis of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma by Complexing with RNA-Binding Proteins and Sponging MiR-942
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AbstractThe detailed biological functions of circular RNA (circRNA) are largely unexplored. Using circRNA sequencing, we identified 169 differentially expressed circRNA in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells compared with nontumor human pancreatic ductal epithelial cells. Among them, circFOXK2 was validated with significant upregulation in PDAC cells and 63% of primary tumors (53 of 84). circFOXK2 promoted cell growth, migration, and invasion and was involved in cell-cycle progression and apoptosis. circFOXK2 contained multiple miRNA binding sites, functioning as a sponge for miR-942, which in turn promoted expression of ANK1, GDNF, and PAX6. A novel and highly specific circRNA-pulldown followed by mass spectrometry analysis identified 94 circFOXK2-interacting proteins, which were involved in cell adhesion, mRNA splicing, and structural molecule activity. Of these, circFOKX2 interactions with YBX1 and hnRNPK enhanced expression of oncogenes NUF2 and PDXK. Knockdown of circFOXK2 reduced binding of YBX1 and hnRNPK to NUF2 and PDXK, in turn decreasing their expression. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that circFOXK2 in complex with YBX1 and hnRNPK promotes expression of oncogenic proteins that contribute to PDAC progression. SIGNIFICANCE: This study reveals a prominent role for the circRNA circFOXK2 in PDAC progression, suggesting that circFOXK2 might be a novel diagnostic marker for PDAC.
All Author(s) ListChi Hin WONG, Ut Kei LOU, Youjia LI, Stephen L. CHAN, Joanna H.M. TONG, Ka-Fai TO, Yangchao CHEN
Journal nameCancer Research
Year2020
Month6
Day1
Volume Number80
Issue Number11
Pages2138 - 2149
ISSN0008-5472
eISSN1538-7445
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom

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