In recent years, long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) research has identified essential roles of these transcripts in virtually all physiological cellular processes including tumorigenesis, but their functions and molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. In this study, we performed a high-throughput siRNA screen targeting 638 lncRNAs deregulated in cancer entities to analyse their impact on cell division by using time-lapse microscopy. We identified 26 lncRNAs affecting cell morphology and cell cycle including LINC00152. This transcript was ubiquitously expressed in many human cell lines and its RNA levels were significantly upregulated in lung, liver and breast cancer tissues. A comprehensive sequence analysis of LINC00152 revealed a highly similar paralog annotated as MIR4435-2HG and several splice variants of both transcripts. The shortest and most abundant isoform preferentially localized to the cytoplasm. Cells depleted of LINC00152 arrested in prometaphase of mitosis and showed reduced cell viability. In RNA affinity purification (RAP) studies, LINC00152 interacted with a network of proteins that were associated with M phase of the cell cycle. In summary, we provide new insights into the properties and biological function of LINC00152 suggesting that this transcript is crucial for cell cycle progression through mitosis and thus, could act as a non-coding oncogene.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published