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



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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