ANRIL, a long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), has recently been reported to have a direct role in recruiting polycomb repressive complexes PRC2 and PRC1 to regulate the expression of the p15/CDKN2B-p16/CDKN2A-p14/ARF gene cluster. Expression analysis of ANRIL, EZH2, SUZ12, EED, JARID2, CBX7, BMI1, p16, p15, and p14/ARF genes was evaluated in a large cohort of invasive breast carcinomas (IBC, n = 456) by qRT-PCR and immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed on CBX7, EZH2, p14, p15, p16, H3K27me3, and H3K27ac. We observed significant overexpression in IBCs of ANRIL (19.7%) and EZH2 (77.0%) and an underexpression of CBX7 (39.7%). Correlations were identified between these genes, their expression patterns, and several classical clinical and pathologic parameters, molecular subtypes, and patient outcomes, as well as with proliferation, epithelial–mesenchymal transition, and breast cancer stem cell markers. Multivariate analysis revealed that combined EZH2/CBX7 status is an independent prognostic factor (P = 0.001). In addition, several miRNAs negatively associated with CBX7 underexpression and EZH2 overexpression. These data demonstrate a complex pattern of interactions between lncRNA ANRIL, several miRNAs, PRC2/PRC1 subunits, and p15/CDKN2B-p16/CDKN2A-p14/ARF locus and suggest that their expression should be considered together to evaluate antitumoral drugs, in particular the BET bromodomain inhibitors.
Implications: This study suggests that the global pattern of expression rather than expression of individual family members should be taken into account when defining functionality of repressive Polycomb complexes and therapeutic targeting potential. Mol Cancer Res; 14(7); 623–33. ©2016 AACR.
This article is featured in Highlights of This Issue, p. 587
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Molecular Cancer Research Online (http://mcr.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received October 15, 2015.
- Revision received March 23, 2016.
- Accepted April 8, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.