Background: Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in males worldwide. Recently, it is well characterized that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA) play critical roles in the initiation, development, and progression of prostate cancer. NeST, an intergenic lncRNA, was found to be a positive regulator of the pro-inflammatory cytokine, IFN-ɣ, which is responsible for both antitumor immunity properties as well as tumor evasion. FOXCUT, an-other lncRNA, is mainly a regulator of transcription factor, FOXC1 that is believed to be involved in tumor development and progression.
Methods: In a case-control study, 66 paraffin-embedded prostate tissues representing 36 pathologically confirmed cancer and 30 control samples were examined. The cancer samples were classified in a total of three stages based on PSA levels, tumor volume, and Gleason score. RNA extraction was performed for quantitative determination of IFN-ɣ, lncRNA NeSt, and lncRNA FOXCUT gene expression in both case and control prostate tissues.
Results: Our results showed that NeST lncRNA was significantly up-regulated in prostate cancer samples compared to control, while NeST lncRNA and IFN-ɣ gene expression was detected mainly in early stages of prostate cancer. The patients with higher NeST and FOXCUT expression had poor clinical features including PSA levels and tumor volume comparing those with lower expression. Moreover, there was a strong correlation between lncRNA FOXCUT and IFN-ɣ expression.
Conclusions: Our data suggests that lncRNA NeST and lncRNA FOXCUT may be able to be introduced as novel molecules involved in prostate cancer development and may provide a potential prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target.