Emerging evidence has confirmed that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are strongly involved in tumor initiation and development. LncRNA ZFPM2 antisense RNA 1 (ZFPM2-AS1) has been identified as a tumor facilitator in some cancers; nevertheless, its functional significance and regulatory mechanism remain greatly unclear in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Here, we detected ZFPM2-AS1 expression in ESCC cell lines using qRT-PCR. ZFPM2-AS1 knockdown models were established for investigating the biological function of ZFPM2-AS1 in ESCC cells. The association between miR-3612 and ZFPM2-AS1 or TRAF4 was assessed by RNA pull-down and luciferase reporter assays. The present study indicated that ZFPM2-AS1 was significantly up-regulated in ESCC cells. Functional assays manifested that ZFPM2-AS1 knockdown restrained cell proliferation, migration and invasion, and facilitated cell apoptosis in ESCC. Mechanistically, ZFPM2-AS1 promoted ESCC cell growth and up-regulated TRAF4 to trigger NF-κB pathway by sequestering miR-3612. Besides, miR-3612 was confirmed to be a tumor inhibitor in ESCC. Through restoration experiments, we observed that TRAF4 overexpression could recover the suppressive effect of ZFPM2-AS1 on ESCC cell growth. Collectively, all the results suggested that ZFPM2-AS1 was an oncogene in ESCC cell growth by up-regulating TRAF4 and activating NF-κB pathway.

This content is only available as a PDF.
This is an Accepted Manuscript; not the final Version of Record. You are encouraged to use the final Version of Record that, when published, will replace this manuscript and be freely available under a Creative Commons licence.