A sense-antisense RNA interaction promotes breast cancer metastasis via regulation of NQO1 expression

Bruce Culbertson, Kristle Garcia, Daniel Markett, Hosseinali Asgharian, Li Chen, Lisa Fish, Albertas Navickas, Johnny Yu, Brian Woo, Arjun Scott Nanda, Benedict Choi, Shaopu Zhou, Joshua Rabinowitz, Hani Goodarzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Antisense RNAs are ubiquitous in human cells, yet their role is largely unexplored. Here we profiled antisense RNAs in the MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line and its highly lung metastatic derivative. We identified one antisense RNA that drives cancer progression by upregulating the redox enzyme NADPH quinone dehydrogenase 1 (NQO1), and named it NQO1-AS. Knockdown of either NQO1 or NQO1-AS reduced lung colonization in a mouse model, and investigation into the role of NQO1 indicated that it is broadly protective against oxidative damage and ferroptosis. Breast cancer cells in the lung are dependent on this pathway, and this dependence can be exploited therapeutically by inducing ferroptosis while inhibiting NQO1. Together, our findings establish a role for NQO1-AS in the progression of breast cancer by regulating its sense mRNA post-transcriptionally. Because breast cancer predominantly affects females, the disease models used in this study are of female origin and the results are primarily applicable to females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-698
Number of pages17
JournalNature Cancer
Volume4
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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