Gynecologic oncology

Overexpression of long non-coding RNA HOTAIR predicts poor patient prognosis and promotes tumor metastasis in epithelial ovarian cancer.

PMID 24662839


Although long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as new regulators in the cancer paradigm, the involvement of lncRNAs in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is just beginning to be studied. In this study, we focused on lncRNA HOX transcript antisense RNA (HOTAIR) and investigated its expression pattern, clinical significance, and biological function in EOC. HOTAIR expression in EOC tissues was examined and its correlation with clinicopathological factors and patient prognosis was analyzed. A series of in vitro and in vivo assays were performed to understand the role of HOTAIR in EOC metastasis. HOTAIR expression was elevated in EOC tissues, and HOTAIR levels were highly positively correlated with the FIGO stage, the histological grade of the tumor, lymph node metastasis, and reduced overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS). A multivariate analysis showed that HOTAIR expression is an independent prognostic factor of OS and DFS in patients with EOC. Additionally, the results of in vitro assays showed that the suppression of HOTAIR expression in the three highly metastatic EOC cell lines (SKOV3.ip1, HO8910-PM, and HEY-A8) significantly reduced cell migration/invasion. The results of in vivo assays further confirmed the pro-metastatic effects of HOTAIR. Moreover, the pro-metastatic effects of HOTAIR were partially mediated by the regulation of certain matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related genes. Our data suggest that HOTAIR plays a vital role in EOC metastasis and could represent a novel prognostic marker and potential therapeutic target in patients with EOC.