Long noncoding RNA Smyca coactivates TGF-β/Smad and Myc pathways to drive tumor progression

Hsin Yi Chen, Shu Jou Chan, Xinxin Liu, An Chi Wei, Ru In Jian, Kuan Wei Huang, Yaw Dong Lang, Jou Ho Shih, Chun Chieh Liao, Chiu Lin Luan, Yu Tung Kao, Shang Yin Chiang, Pei Wen Hsiao, Yuh Shan Jou, Yunching Chen, Ruey Hwa Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Metastasis and chemoresistance are major culprits of cancer mortality, but factors contributing to these processes are incompletely understood. Methods: Bioinformatics methods were used to identify the relations of Smyca expression to clinicopathological features of human cancers. RNA-sequencing analysis was used to reveal Smyca-regulated transcriptome. RNA pull-down and RNA immunoprecipitation were used to examine the binding of Smyca to Smad3/4 and c-Myc/Max. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and chromatin isolation by RNA purification were used to determine the binding of transcription factors and Smyca to various gene loci, respectively. Real-time RT-PCR and luciferase assay were used to examine gene expression levels and promoter activities, respectively. Xenograft mouse models were performed to evaluate the effects of Smyca on metastasis and chemoresistance. Nanoparticle-assisted gapmer antisense oligonucleotides delivery was used to target Smyca in vivo. Results: We identify lncRNA Smyca for its association with poor prognosis of many cancer types. Smyca potentiates metabolic reprogramming, migration, invasion, cancer stemness, metastasis and chemoresistance. Mechanistically, Smyca enhances TGF-β/Smad signaling by acting as a scaffold for promoting Smad3/Smad4 association and further serves as a Smad target to amplify/prolong TGF-β signaling. Additionally, Smyca potentiates c-Myc-mediated transcription by enhancing the recruitment of c-Myc/Max complex to a set of target promoters and c-Myc binding to TRRAP. Through potentiating TGF-β and c-Myc pathways, Smyca synergizes the Warburg effect elicited by both pathways but evades the anti-proliferative effect of TGF-β. Targeting Smyca prevents metastasis and overcomes chemoresistance. Conclusions: This study uncovers a lncRNA that coordinates tumor-relevant pathways to orchestra a pro-tumor program and establishes the clinical values of Smyca in cancer prognosis and therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number85
Pages (from-to)85
JournalJournal of Hematology and Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 6 2022


  • c-Myc
  • Chemoresistance
  • EMT
  • LncRNA
  • Metastasis
  • Smad
  • TGF-β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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