• Open Access

Long non-coding RNA HOTAIR is an independent prognostic marker for nasopharyngeal carcinoma progression and survival

Authors

  • Yan Nie,

    1. Breast Tumor Center, Guangzhou, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Malignant Tumor Gene Regulation and Target Therapy of Guangdong Higher Education Institutes, Guangzhou, China
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  • Xiang Liu,

    1. Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China
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  • Shaohua Qu,

    1. Breast Tumor Center, Guangzhou, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Malignant Tumor Gene Regulation and Target Therapy of Guangdong Higher Education Institutes, Guangzhou, China
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  • Erwei Song,

    1. Breast Tumor Center, Guangzhou, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Malignant Tumor Gene Regulation and Target Therapy of Guangdong Higher Education Institutes, Guangzhou, China
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  • Hua Zou,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China
    • Breast Tumor Center, Guangzhou, China
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  • Chang Gong

    Corresponding author
    1. Key Laboratory of Malignant Tumor Gene Regulation and Target Therapy of Guangdong Higher Education Institutes, Guangzhou, China
    • Breast Tumor Center, Guangzhou, China
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To whom correspondence should be addressed.

E-mails: changgong282@163.com; zouhua28@163.com

Abstract

Identification of new nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) biomarkers is of great clinical value for the diagnosis and treatment of NPC. HOTAIR, a cancer-related long non-coding RNA, was tested and its prognostic value for NPC was evaluated. As determined using in situ hybridization (ISH), 91 of 160 (56.87%) paraffin-embedded NPC biopsies showed high expression levels of HOTAIR (staining index score ≥ 6). HOTAIR was upregulated in tumors with a large size (= 0.021), more advanced clinical stage (= 0.012) and increased lymph node tumor burden (= 0.005). Quantified using real-time PCR, HOTAIR expression levels in fresh tissue and paraffin-embedded samples were 5.2 ~ 48.4-fold higher compared with non-cancer tissue samples. Moreover, HOTAIR expression levels increased with clinical stage progression, which was consistent with ISH findings in the paraffin-embedded tissue. Most importantly, NPC patients with higher HOTAIR levels had a poor prognosis for overall survival using univariate and multivariate analysis. In addition, HOTAIR mediated the migration, invasion and proliferation of NPC cells in vitro. HOTAIR is a potential biomarker for the prognosis of NPC, and dysregulation of HOTAIR might play an important role in NPC progression.

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