Transcription-induced chimeric RNAs are an emerging area of research into molecular signatures for disease biomarker and therapeutic target development. Despite their importance, little is known for chimeric RNAs-relevant roles and the underlying mechanisms for cancer pathogenesis and progression. Here we describe a unique ASTN2-PAPPA(antisense) chimeric RNA (A-P-as chiRNA) that could be the first reported chimeric RNA derived from the splicing of exons and intron antisense of two neighboring genes, respectively. Aberrant A-P-as chiRNA level in ESCC tissues was associated with tumor progression and patients' outcome. In vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that A-P-as chiRNA aggravated ESCC metastasis and enhanced stemness through modulating OCT4. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that ERK5-mediated non-canonical PAF1 activity was required for A-P-as chiRNA-induced cancer malignancy. The study defined an undocumented function of chimeric RNAs in aggravating cancer stemness and metastasis.
- Chimeric RNA
- Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
- PAF1 COMPLEX