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Long Noncoding RNA FEZF1-AS1 Promotes Proliferation and Inhibits Apoptosis in Ovarian Cancer by Activation of JAK-STAT3 Pathway

Xia Zhao, Zhaofang Cheng, Jian Wang

(Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The People’s Hospital of Zhangqiu District, Jinan, Shandong, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:8088-8095

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.911194

BACKGROUND: Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been acknowledged as important regulators in human cancers, including ovarian cancer. Several reports identified lncRNA FEZF1-AS1 as an oncogene in gastric cancer, colorectal carcinoma, and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, the function of FEZF1-AS1 in ovarian cancer remains largely unknown. This study was aimed to investigate the role of FEZF1-AS1 in ovarian cancer.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: FEZF1-AS1 expression levels in pairs of ovarian cancer tissues and adjacent normal tissues were measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Kaplan-Meier curve analysis was used to determine the correlation between FEZF1-AS1 expression and prognosis in ovarian cancer patients. The effects of FEZF1-AS1 knockdown on ovarian cancer cell proliferation, cell-cycle, and apoptosis were analyzed by Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK8) and Fluorescence activated Cell Sorting (FACS) assays. Western blot was utilized to assess the effect of FEZF1-AS1 on the activation of JAK-STAT3 pathway.
RESULTS: FEZF1-AS1 was overexpressed in ovarian cancer tissues compared to adjacent normal tissues. Consistently, FEZF1-AS1 expression was also upregulated in ovarian cancer cell lines compared with normal cell line. Furthermore, higher expression of FEZF1-AS1 in ovarian cancer patients contributed to poorer prognosis. FEZF1-AS1 knockdown significantly suppressed the proliferation and promoted apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells. In mechanism, FEZF1-AS1 regulated activation of JAK-STAT3 signaling pathway by modulating STAT3 phosphorylation. Knockdown of FEZF1-AS1 significantly impaired the phosphorylation of STAT3.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated that FEZF1-AS1 exerted an oncogenic role in ovarian cancer via modulating JAK-STAT3 pathway.

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