Oncogenic Activation of the RNA Binding Protein NELFE and MYC Signaling in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Publication date: 10 July 2017
Source:Cancer Cell, Volume 32, Issue 1
Author(s): Hien Dang, Atsushi Takai, Marshonna Forgues, Yotsowat Pomyen, Haiwei Mou, Wen Xue, Debashish Ray, Kevin C.H. Ha, Quaid D. Morris, Timothy R. Hughes, Xin Wei Wang
Global transcriptomic imbalance is a ubiquitous feature associated with cancer, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Analyses of 1,225 clinical HCC samples revealed that a large numbers of RNA binding proteins (RBPs) are dysregulated and that RBP dysregulation is associated with poor prognosis. We further identified that oncogenic activation of a top candidate RBP, negative elongation factor E (NELFE), via somatic copy-number alterations enhanced MYC signaling and promoted HCC progression. Interestingly, NELFE induces a unique tumor transcriptome by selectively regulating MYC-associated genes. Thus, our results revealed NELFE as an oncogenic protein that may contribute to transcriptome imbalance in HCC through the regulation of MYC signaling.

Graphical abstract

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Teaser

Dang et al. show that a large numbers of RNA binding proteins (RBPs) are dysregulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and that NELFE, an RBP, enhances MYC-induced HCC development by regulating the binding of MYC to target promoters and the mRNA stability of several MYC-regulated genes.

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