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Long Noncoding RNA WEE2-AS1 Plays an Oncogenic Role in Glioblastoma by Functioning as a Molecular Sponge for MicroRNA-520f-3p

Hengzhou Lin, Dahui Zuo, Jiabin He, Tao Ji, Jianzhong Wang, Taipeng Jiang

Department of Neurosurgery, Shenzhen Second People’s Hospital, the First Affiliated Hospital of Shenzhen University, Health Science Center, Shenzhen, P.R. China

Oncology Research 2020, 28(6), 591-603.


The long noncoding RNA WEE2 antisense RNA 1 (WEE2-AS1) plays an oncogenic role in hepatocellular carcinoma and triple negative breast cancer progression. In this study, we investigated the expression and roles of WEE2-AS1 in glioblastoma (GBM). Furthermore, the molecular mechanisms behind the oncogenic actions of WEE2-AS1 in GBM cells were explored in detail. WEE2-AS1 expression was detected using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The roles of WEE2-AS1 in GBM cells were evaluated by the cell counting kit-8 assay, flow cytometric analysis, Transwell cell migration and invasion assays, and tumor xenograft experiments. WEE2-AS1 expression was evidently enhanced in GBM tissues and cell lines compared with their normal counterparts. An increased level of WEE2-AS1 was correlated with the average tumor diameter, Karnofsky Performance Scale score, and shorter overall survival among GBM patients. Functionally, depleted WEE2-AS1 attenuated GBM cell proliferation, migration, and invasion in vitro, promoted cell apoptosis, and impaired tumor growth in vivo. Mechanistically, WEE2-AS1 functioned as a molecular sponge for microRNA- 520f-3p (miR-520f-3p) and consequently increased specificity protein 1 (SP1) expression in GBM cells. A series of recovery experiments revealed that the inhibition of miR-520f-3p and upregulation of SP1 could partially abrogate the influences of WEE2-AS1 downregulation on GBM cells. In conclusion, WEE2-AS1 can adsorb miR-520f-3p to increase endogenous SP1 expression, thereby facilitating the malignancy of GBM. Therefore, targeting the WEE2-AS1–miR-520f-3p–SP1 pathway might be a promising therapy for the management of GBM in the future.


Cite This Article

Lin, H., Zuo, D., He, J., Ji, T., Wang, J. et al. (2020). Long Noncoding RNA WEE2-AS1 Plays an Oncogenic Role in Glioblastoma by Functioning as a Molecular Sponge for MicroRNA-520f-3p. Oncology Research, 28(6), 591–603.

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