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Research Article

Long Non-coding RNA SNHG16 Facilitates Esophageal Cancer Cell Proliferation and Self-renewal through the microRNA-802/PTCH1 Axis

[ Vol. 29 , Issue. 39 ]


Luquan Zhang, Hao Liang, Jinfeng Zhang, Yingnan Yang, Xiaodong Ling and Hao Jiang*   Pages 6084 - 6099 ( 16 )


Objective: This research sought to explore the effect and mechanism of long non-coding RNA SNHG16 on esophageal cancer (EC) cell proliferation and self-renewal.

Methods: SNHG16 expression was measured in EC9706 and KYSE150 cells. EC9706 and KYSE150 cells were transfected with Lenti-SNHG16, sh-SNHG16, Lenti-protein patched homolog 1 (PTCH1), miR-802 mimic, or miR-802 inhibitor. Flow cytometry was used to sort cancer stem cells (CSCs) in EC9706 and KYSE150 cells. Cell proliferation in EC cells was measured, in addition to colony and tumorsphere numbers. The possible interactions among SNHG16, PTCH1, and miR-802 were identified by dual luciferase reporter and RNA pull-down assays. The expression of the genes in the Hedgehog pathway was detected. Nude mice were injected with SNHG16-silenced EC9706 cells to observe the tumorigenicity of EC9706 cells.

Results: Upregulated SNHG16 expression was found in CSCs, whose expression was decreased during the differentiation of CSCs. SNHG16 or PTCH1 overexpression or miR-802 inhibition promoted the proliferation, colony formation, and tumorsphere formation of EC9706 and KYSE150 cells as well as SOX2, OCT4, Bmi-1, and PTCH1 expression. Consistently, SNHG16 knockdown or miR-802 overexpression inhibited EC progression. Moreover, SNHG16 and PTCH1 were competitively bound to miR-802, and SNHG16 orchestrated the miR-802/PTCH1 axis to activate the Hedgehog pathway. SNHG16 silencing repressed the tumorigenicity of EC9706 in nude mice.

Conclusion: Conclusively, SNHG16 acts as a sponge of miR-802 to upregulate PTCH1 and activate the Hedgehog pathway, thus promoting EC cell proliferation and selfrenewal.


SNHG16, esophageal cancer, microRNA-802, PTCH1, self-renewal, proliferation, Hedgehog pathway.


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