Background: Medulloblastomas (MBs) are one of the most common malignant brain tumor types in children. MB prognosis, despite improvement in recent years, still depends on clinical and biological risk factors. Metastasis is the leading cause of MB-related deaths, which highlights an unmet need for risk stratification and targeted therapy to improve clinical outcomes. Among the four molecular subgroups, sonic-hedgehog (SHH)-MB harbors clinical and genetic heterogeneity with a subset of high-risk cases. Recently, long non-coding (lnc)RNAs were implied to contribute to cancer malignant progression, but their role in MB remains unclear. This study aimed to identify pro-malignant lncRNAs that have prognostic and therapeutic significance in SHH-MB. Methods: The Daoy SHH-MB cell line was engineered for ectopic expression of MYCN, a genetic signature of SHH-MB. MYCN-associated lncRNA genes were identified using RNA-sequencing data and were validated in SHH-MB cell lines, MB tissue samples, and patient cohort datasets. SHH-MB cells with genetic manipulation of the candidate lncRNA were evaluated for metastatic phenotypes in vitro, including cell migration, invasion, sphere formation, and expressions of stemness markers. An orthotopic xenograft mouse model was used to evaluate metastasis occurrence and survival. Finally, bioinformatic screening and in vitro assays were performed to explore downstream mechanisms. Results: Elevated lncRNA LOXL1-AS1 expression was identified in MYCN-expressing Daoy cells and MYCN-amplified SHH-MB tumors, and was significantly associated with lower survival in SHH-MB patients. Functionally, LOXL1-AS1 promoted SHH-MB cell migration and cancer stemness in vitro. In mice, MYCN-expressing Daoy cells exhibited a high metastatic rate and adverse effects on survival, both of which were suppressed under LOLX1-AS1 perturbation. Integrative bioinformatic analyses revealed associations of LOXL1-AS1 with processes of cancer stemness, cell differentiation, and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition. LOXL1-AS1 positively regulated the expression of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β2. Knockdown of TGF-β2 in SHH-MB cells significantly abrogated their LOXL1-AS1-mediated prometastatic functions. Conclusions: This study proved the functional significance of LOXL1-AS1 in SHH-MB metastasis by its promotion of TGF-β2-mediated cancer stem-like phenotypes, providing both prognostic and therapeutic potentials for targeting SHH-MB metastasis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024


  • Cancer stemness
  • LOXL1-AS1
  • Long non-coding RNA
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Metastasis
  • TGF-β2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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