Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 13 pp 17830—17846

Linc00941 regulates esophageal squamous cell carcinoma via functioning as a competing endogenous RNA for miR-877-3p to modulate PMEPA1 expression

Yan Zhang1, *, , Huayun Zhu1, *, , Ning Sun1, , Xiaomei Zhang1, , Geyu Liang2, , Jiali Zhu1, *, , Lei Xia1, , Yingying Kou1, , Jianwei Lu1, ,

  • 1 Department of Medical Oncology, Jiangsu Cancer Hospital and Jiangsu Institute of Cancer Research and the Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210009, China
  • 2 School of Public Health, Southeast University, Nanjing 210009, China
* Equal contribution

Received: September 21, 2020       Accepted: February 1, 2021       Published: July 13, 2021
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2021 Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) represents one of the most common malignancies and is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) have been suggested to be dysregulated in various types of cancers, and a growing number of lincRNAs have been implicated to be functional in the ESCC progression. In this study, we examined the role of linc00941 in the ESCC progression and explored the underlying molecular mechanisms. The bioinformatics analysis identified the up-regulation of linc00941 in the ESCC tissues. Further in vitro studies showed that linc00941 was up-regulated in ESCC cell lines. The loss-of-function studies demonstrated that linc00941 knockdown suppressed ESCC cell proliferation, invasion and migration, and also suppressed the in vivo tumor growth. Furthermore, bioinformatics prediction along with luciferase reporter assay and RNA immunoprecipitation assay implied that linc00941 acted as a competing endogenous RNA for miR-877-3p, and linc00941 regulated ESCC cell progression via at least targeting miR-877-3p. Subsequently, miR-877-3p targeted prostate transmembrane protein, androgen induced 1 (PMEPA1) 3’ untranslated region and repressed PMEPA1 expression in ESCC cells; overexpression of PMEPA1 attenuated the inhibitory effects of linc00941 knockdown on the ESCC cell progression. Linc00941 knockdown suppressed epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) via targeting miR-877-3p/PMEPA1 axis in ESCC cells. In conclusion, our results indicated the oncogenic role of linc00941 in ESCC, and knockdown of linc00941 suppressed ESCC cell proliferation, invasion, migration and EMT via interacting with miR-877-3p/PMEPA1 axis.


CCK-8: cell counting kit-8; ceRNAs: competing endogenous RNAs; DEGs: differentially expressed genes; EMT: epithelial-mesenchymal transition; ESCC: esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; GEPIA: Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis; lincRNAs: long non-coding RNAs; mut: mutant; PMEPA1: prostate transmembrane protein, androgen induced 1; RIP: RNA immunoprecipitation; wt: wild-type.