Gastric Cancer

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 756–764 | Cite as

HOTAIR induces the ubiquitination of Runx3 by interacting with Mex3b and enhances the invasion of gastric cancer cells

  • Meng Xue
  • Lu-yi Chen
  • Wei-jia Wang
  • Ting-ting Su
  • Liu-hong Shi
  • Lan Wang
  • Wen Zhang
  • Jian-min Si
  • Liang-jing WangEmail author
  • Shu-jie ChenEmail author
Original Article



Long non-coding RNAs (LncRNAs) exert their functions mainly by binding to their corresponding proteins. Runt-related transcription factor 3 (Runx3) is an important transcription factor that functions as a tumor suppressor in gastric cancer. Whether there is an interplay between LncRNAs and Runx3 remains unclear.


RPISeq was applied to screen the LncRNAs that potentially bind to Runx3. The interaction between LncRNA HOX antisense intergenic RNA (HOTAIR) and Runx3 was validated by RNA Immunoprecipitation and RNA pull-down assays. The role of Mex3b in the ubiquitination of Runx3 induced by HOTAIR was assessed by immunoprecipitation. Pearson’s correlation between HOTAIR mRNA expression and Runx3 protein expression was analyzed. Cell migration and invasion were explored by transwell assays.


We found that HOTAIR was bound to Runx3 protein and identified the fragment of HOTAIR spanning 1951–2100 bp as the specific binding site. In addition, mex-3 RNA binding family member B (Mex3b) was an E3 ligase involved in HOTAIR-induced ubiquitous degradation of Runx3. Silencing the expression of HOTAIR or Mex3b attenuated the degradation of Runx3. In human gastric cancer tissues, HOTAIR was negatively associated with the expression level of Runx3 protein (Pearson coefficient − 0.501, p = 0.025). Inhibition of HOTAIR significantly suppressed gastric cancer cell migration and invasion through upregulating claudin1, which could be reversed by co-deficiency of Runx3.


These results uncovered the novel interaction between HOTAIR and Runx3, and provided potential therapeutic targets on the metastasis of gastric cancer.


HOTAIR Runx3 Gastric cancer Ubiquitination 



This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (LQ17H160010); National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFC1303200 and 2016YFC0107003); National Natural Science Foundation of China (81702308, 81472214); Experimental Animal Science and Technology Program of Zhejiang Province (2015C37085); and Science and technology innovation team of Zhejiang Province (2013TD13).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals and informed consent

All samples were obtained with patients’ informed consent. The Ethics Committee of the Second Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, approved this study. This study does not involve animals.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The International Gastric Cancer Association and The Japanese Gastric Cancer Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meng Xue
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Lu-yi Chen
    • 1
    • 3
  • Wei-jia Wang
    • 4
  • Ting-ting Su
    • 1
    • 3
  • Liu-hong Shi
    • 5
  • Lan Wang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Wen Zhang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jian-min Si
    • 1
    • 3
  • Liang-jing Wang
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Shu-jie Chen
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Gastroenterology, Sir Runrun Shaw Hospital, School of MedicineZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Gastroenterology, The Second Affiliated Hospital, School of MedicineZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  3. 3.Institute of GastroenterologyZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  4. 4.Department of Cardiology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, School of MedicineThe Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.Department of Ultrasound, The Second Affiliated Hospital, School of MedicineZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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