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01.12.2018 | Primary research | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Cancer Cell International 1/2018

Long noncoding RNA ROR promotes breast cancer by regulating the TGF-β pathway

Cancer Cell International > Ausgabe 1/2018
LingLi Hou, Jiancheng Tu, Fangxiong Cheng, Hongwei Yang, Fei Yu, Minghua Wang, Jiubo Liu, Jinbo Fan, Guojun Zhou



Breast cancer is the leading cause of oncological mortality among women. Efficient detection of cancer cells in an early stage and potent therapeutic agents targeting metastatic tumors are highly needed to improve survival rates. Emerging evidence indicates that lncRNAs (long noncoding RNAs) are critical regulators of fundamental cellular processes in a variety of tumors including breast cancer. The functional details of these regulatory elements, however, remain largely unexplored.


In this study, lncRNA ROR (linc-ROR) was examined by real-time PCR in different breast cancer cell lines and breast tumor tissues/non-tumor tissues were collected from both breast cancer patients and healthy controls. Linc-ROR was knockdown in breast cancer cell lines and the effects on cell proliferation, migration and invasion were tested both in vitro and in vivo tumor model. Effects of linc-ROR knockdown on TGF-β signaling pathway were investigated by Western blot.


Our studies have suggested that linc-ROR, a critical factor for embryonic stem cell maintenance, probably acts as an oncogenic factor in breast cancer cells, causing poor prognostic outcomes. Overexpression of linc-ROR seems to be responsible for promoting proliferation and invasion of cancer cells as well as tumor growth in nude mice. The regulatory action of linc-ROR can affect the activity of the TGF-β signaling pathway, which has been proven critical for mammary development and breast cancer.


The results have highlighted the potential importance of linc-ROR in the progression of advanced breast cancer, and thus will stimulate efforts in the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
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