The nuclear paraspeckle assembly transcript 1 (NEAT1, a long non-coding RNA) is frequently overexpressed in human tumors, and higher NEAT1 expression is correlated with worse survival in cancer patients. NEAT1 drives tumor initiation and progression by modulating the expression of genes involved in the regulation of tumor cell growth, migration, invasion, metastasis, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, stem cell-like phenotype, chemoresistance and radioresistance, indicating the potential for NEAT1 to be a novel diagnostic biomarker and therapeutic target. Mechanistically, NEAT1 functions as a scaffold RNA molecule by interacting with EZH2 (a subunit of the polycomb repressive complex) to influence the expression of downstream effectors of EZH2, it also acts as a microRNA (miRNA) sponge to suppress the interactions between miRNAs and target mRNAs, and affects the expression of miR-129 by promoting the DNA methylation of the miR-129 promoter region. Knockdown of NEAT1 via small interfering RNA or short hairpin RNA inhibits the malignant behavior of tumor cells. In this review, we highlight the latest insights into the expression pattern, biological roles and mechanisms underlying the function and regulation of NEAT1 in tumors, and especially focus on its clinical implication as a new diagnostic biomarker and an attractive therapeutic target for cancers.
This work was supported by a grant from JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) (16K11123 and 18K09278), the Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province, China (2014A020212124) and an NIH/NCI grant 1R21CA216585-01A1 to JY.
- cancer diagnosis
- cancer treatment
- long non-coding RNA
- nuclear paraspeckle assembly transcript 1