Current evidence suggests that the human genome produces a large number of non-coding RNAs, including microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). Generally, lncRNAs are defined as RNA transcripts longer than 200 nucleotides that are not transcribed into proteins. In recent years, lncRNAs have been reported to play oncogenic roles in tumourigenesis. However, minimal research has been performed on the expression and clinicopathological significance of lncRNAs in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). In the present study, we investigated not only the expression and clinicopathological significance of a novel lncRNA, NR_036575.1, in PTC tissues and adjacent non-cancerous tissues but also its potential function in TPC1 cells. The expression levels of the lncRNA NR_036575.1 in 83 pairs of PTC tissues and adjacent non-cancerous tissues were detected via quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The relationships between the expression levels and clinicopathological characteristics of the lncRNA NR_036575.1 were analysed. In addition, we established two receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves to assess the diagnostic value of NR_036575.1 expression. Cell Counting Kit-8 and transwell assays were used to assess cell proliferation and migration, respectively. The expression levels of the lncRNA NR_036575.1 were significantly higher in PTC tissues than in adjacent non-cancerous tissues. High NR_036575.1 expression was associated with extrathyroidal extension (ETE) (P = 0.011) and tumour size (P = 0.006). The ROC curves indicated that NR_036575.1 could potentially serve as a biomarker for identifying PTC and related, non-cancerous diseases (sensitivity, 80.7 %; specificity, 88 %), as well as for differentiating between PTC with or without ETE (sensitivity, 57.8 %; specificity, 86.7 %). NR_036575.1 knock-down significantly inhibited the proliferation and migration of TPC1 cells. Our findings are the first to describe lncRNA NR_036575.1 overexpression in PTC. NR_036575.1 expression was associated with both ETE and tumour size. In addition, NR_036575.1 modulation could regulate TPC1 cell proliferation and migration. The results of our study suggest that NR_036575.1 could be applied as a potential biomarker and a novel therapeutic target for PTC patients.
Papillary thyroid cancer LncRNA Extrathyroidal extension Tumour size Biomarker
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This work was supported by the Liaoning BaiQianWan Talents Program (No. 2014921033), Natural Science Foundation of Liaoning Province (No. 2015020536), Science and Technology Project of Shenyang City (No. F16-205-1-41), the Liaoning Province PhD Start-up Fund (Nos. 20141042 and 201501008), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 81402208 and 81502319).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest in relation to the publication of this study. The authors have full control of all of the primary data and agree to allow the journal to review the data if needed.
Our study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China.
Written informed consent was obtained from all study participants.
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