Indexed on: 22 Apr '17Published on: 22 Apr '17Published in: Oncotarget
We investigated the role of actin filament associated protein 1 antisense RNA1 (AFAP1-AS1) lncRNA in promoting cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). qRT-PCR analysis of patient samples showed that AFAP1-AS1 expression was higher in CCA tumors than matched adjacent non-tumor tissue. AFAP1-AS1 levels were also higher in CCA cell lines (HuCCT1 and TFK-1) than a normal biliary epithelium cell line (HIBEpic). AFAP1-AS1 knockdown in CCA cell lines using shAFAP1-AS1 reduced cell proliferation and colony formation in CCK-8 and colony formation assays, respectively. Cell cycle analysis demonstrated that AFAP1-AS1 knockdown resulted in G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and inhibition of S-G2/M transition compared to the controls. CCA cells transfected with shAFAP1-AS1 also exhibited reduced metastasis and invasiveness in Transwell and wound healing assays. This was further confirmed in xenograft experiments with nude mice using CCA cells transfected with shAFAP1-AS1 or control shRNA. AFAP1-AS1 knockdown cells produced smaller tumors, demonstrating that AFAP1-AS1 promotes tumor growth in vivo. AFAP1-AS1 knockdown also increased expression of actin filament associated protein 1 (AFAP1) and reduced cell stress filament integrity, as determined from western blot and immunofluorescence assays, respectively. These findings indicate that AFAP1-AS1 exerts oncogenic effects in CCA. We postulate that AFAP1-AS1 is a potentially useful diagnostic and prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target for CCA.