Gene Summary

Gene:CDKN2B-AS1; CDKN2B antisense RNA 1
Aliases: ANRIL, p15AS, PCAT12, CDKN2BAS, CDKN2B-AS, NCRNA00089
Summary:This gene is located within the CDKN2B-CDKN2A gene cluster at chromosome 9p21. The gene product is a functional RNA molecule that interacts with polycomb repressive complex-1 (PRC1) and -2 (PRC2), leading to epigenetic silencing of other genes in this cluster. This region is a significant genetic susceptibility locus for cardiovascular disease, and has also been linked to a number of other pathologies, including several cancers, intracranial aneurysm, type-2 diabetes, periodontitis, Alzheimer's disease, endometriosis, frailty in the elderly, and glaucoma. Multiple alternatively processed transcript variants have been detected, some of which may take the form of circular RNA molecules (PMID:21151960). [provided by RefSeq, May 2014]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 27 February, 2015

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 27 February 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Long Noncoding RNA
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • Risk Factors
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Chromatin Immunoprecipitation
  • RT-PCR
  • Epigenetics
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Genetic Recombination
  • MIRN99 microRNA, human
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Tumor Markers
  • Transfection
  • MicroRNAs
  • Genotype
  • Stomach Cancer
  • ANRIL long non-coding RNA, human
  • Western Blotting
  • Heterografts
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Genetic Loci
  • MIRN449 microRNA, human
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Gene Silencing
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Chromosome 2
  • Chromosome 9
Tag cloud generated 27 February, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: CDKN2B-AS1 (cancer-related)

Li WQ, Pfeiffer RM, Hyland PL, et al.
Genetic polymorphisms in the 9p21 region associated with risk of multiple cancers.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(12):2698-705 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
The chromosome 9p21 region has been implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple cancers. We analyzed 9p21 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from eight genome-wide association studies (GWAS) with data deposited in dbGaP, including studies of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), gastric cancer (GC), pancreatic cancer, renal cell carcinoma (RCC), lung cancer (LC), breast cancer (BrC), bladder cancer (BC) and prostate cancer (PrC). The number of subjects ranged from 2252 (PrC) to 7619 (LC). SNP-level analyses for each cancer were conducted by logistic regression or random-effects meta-analysis. A subset-based statistical approach (ASSET) was performed to combine SNP-level P values across multiple cancers. We calculated gene-level P values using the adaptive rank truncated product method. We identified that rs1063192 and rs2157719 in the CDKN2A/2B region were significantly associated with ESCC and rs2764736 (3' of TUSC1) was associated with BC (P ≤ 2.59 × 10(-6)). ASSET analyses identified four SNPs significantly associated with multiple cancers: rs3731239 (CDKN2A intronic) with ESCC, GC and BC (P = 3.96 × 10(-) (4)); rs10811474 (3' of IFNW1) with RCC and BrC (P = 0.001); rs12683422 (LINGO2 intronic) with RCC and BC (P = 5.93 × 10(-) (4)) and rs10511729 (3' of ELAVL2) with LC and BrC (P = 8.63 × 10(-) (4)). At gene level, CDKN2B, CDKN2A and CDKN2B-AS1 were significantly associated with ESCC (P ≤ 4.70 × 10(-) (5)). Rs10511729 and rs10811474 were associated with cis-expression of 9p21 genes in corresponding cancer tissues in the expression quantitative trait loci analysis. In conclusion, we identified several genetic variants in the 9p21 region associated with the risk of multiple cancers, suggesting that this region may contribute to a shared susceptibility across different cancer types.

Frigerio S, Disciglio V, Manoukian S, et al.
A large de novo 9p21.3 deletion in a girl affected by astrocytoma and multiple melanoma.
BMC Med Genet. 2014; 15:59 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Association of melanoma, neural system tumors and germ line mutations at the 9p21 region in the CDKN2A, CDKN2B and CDKN2BAS genes has been reported in a small number of families worldwide and described as a discrete syndrome in melanoma families registered as a rare disease, the melanoma-astrocytoma syndrome.
CASE PRESENTATION: We here studied two young patients developing melanoma after radiotherapy for astrocytoma, both reporting lack of family history for melanoma or neural system tumors at genetic counselling. Patient A is a girl treated for anaplastic astrocytoma at 10 years and for multiple melanomas on the scalp associated to dysplastic nevi two years later. Her monozygotic twin sister carried dysplastic nevi and a slow growing, untreated cerebral lesion. Direct sequencing analysis showed no alterations in melanoma susceptibility genes including CDKN2A, CDK4, MC1R and MITF or in TP53. By microsatellite analysis, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification, and array comparative genomic hybridization a deletion including the CDKN2A, CDKN2B and CDKN2BAS gene cluster was detected in both twin sisters, encompassing a large region at 9p21.3 and occurring de novo after the loss of one paternal allele.Patient B is a boy of 7 years when treated for astrocytoma then developing melanoma associated to congenital nevi on the head 10 years later: sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification revealed a normal profile of the CDKN2A/CDKN2B/CDKN2BAS region. Array comparative genomic hybridization confirmed the absence of deletions at 9p21.3 and failed to reveal known pathogenic copy number variations.
CONCLUSIONS: By comparison with the other germ line deletions at the CDKN2A, CDKN2B and CDKN2BAS gene cluster reported in melanoma susceptible families, the deletion detected in the two sisters is peculiar for its de novo origin and for its extension, as it represents the largest constitutive deletion at 9p21.3 region identified so far.In addition, the two studied cases add to other evidence indicating association of melanoma with exposure to ionizing radiation and with second neoplasm after childhood cancer. Melanoma should be considered in the monitoring of pigmented lesions in young cancer patients.

Zhang EB, Kong R, Yin DD, et al.
Long noncoding RNA ANRIL indicates a poor prognosis of gastric cancer and promotes tumor growth by epigenetically silencing of miR-99a/miR-449a.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(8):2276-92 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Long noncoding RNAs are involved in diseases including cancer. Here, we reported that ANRIL (CDKN2B-AS1), a 3.8-kb long noncoding RNA, recruiting and binding to PRC2, was generally upregulated in human gastric cancer (GC) tissues. In a cohort of 120 GC patients, the higher expression of ANRIL was significantly correlated with a higher TNM stage (P=0.041) and tumor size (P=0.001). Multivariate analyses revealed that ANRIL expression served as an independent predictor for overall survival (P=0.036). Further experiments revealed that ANRIL knockdown significantly repressed the proliferation both in vitro and in vivo. We also showed that E2F1 could induce ANRIL and ANRIL-mediated growth promotion is in part due to epigenetic repression of miR-99a/miR-449a in Trans (controlling the targets--mTOR and CDK6/E2F1 pathway) by binding to PRC2, thus forming a positive feedback loop, continuing to promote GC cell proliferation. To our knowledge, this is the first report showed that the role of ANRIL in the progression of GC and ANRIL could crosstalk with microRNAs in epigenetic level. Our results suggest that ANRIL, as a growth regulator, may serve as a candidate prognostic biomarker and target for new therapies in human gastric cancer.

Chen D, Zhang Z, Mao C, et al.
ANRIL inhibits p15(INK4b) through the TGFβ1 signaling pathway in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Cell Immunol. 2014 May-Jun; 289(1-2):91-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
The INK4b-ARF-INK4a gene cluster encodes three tumor suppressors: p15(INK4b), p14(ARF), and p16(INK4a). Antisense non-coding RNA in the INK4 locus (ANRIL) is transcribed in the opposite direction from this gene cluster. Recent studies suggest that ANRIL represses the expression of p15(INK4b), p14(ARF), and p16(INK4a); however, the underlying mechanism is unclear. In this study, the expressions of ANRIL in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) tissues and matched adjacent non-tumor tissues were examined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Compared with matched adjacent non-tumor tissues, the expression levels of ANRIL in ESCC tissues were significantly increased. Furthermore, inhibition of ANRIL was found to increase the expression of p15(INK4b) and transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) and depletion of ANRIL in ESCC cell lines may inhibit cellular proliferation. Thus, our findings suggest a significant role of ANRIL in the occurrence and development of ESCC through TGFβ1 signaling pathways.

Kornman KS, Polverini PJ
Clinical application of genetics to guide prevention and treatment of oral diseases.
Clin Genet. 2014; 86(1):44-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Dental care costs in the United States exceed $100 billion annually. Personalized medicine efforts in dentistry are driven by potentially compelling clinical utility and cost-effectiveness prospects in the major diseases of periodontitis, caries, and oral cancers. This review discusses progress and challenges identifying genetic markers and showing clinical utility in dentistry. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of chronic periodontitis (CP) identified no significant variants, but CDKN2BAS variants on chromosome 9 were significantly associated with aggressive periodontitis. Stratifying patients by interleukin (IL)-1 gene variants, smoking and diabetes differentiated CP prevention outcomes. Dental caries' GWAS identified significant signals in LYZL2, AJAp1, and KPNA4; and efforts are ongoing to identify genetic factors for multiple caries phenotypes. Trials of molecularly targeted therapies are in progress for oral, head, and neck squamous cell carcinomas (OHNSCC) and results have been promising but limited in their effectiveness. Current opportunities and challenges for molecular targeting for OHNSCC are discussed.

Aesoy R, Gradin K, Aasrud KS, et al.
Regulation of CDKN2B expression by interaction of Arnt with Miz-1--a basis for functional integration between the HIF and Myc gene regulatory pathways.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:54 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hypoxia- and Myc-dependent transcriptional regulatory pathways are frequently deregulated in cancer cells. These pathways converge in many cellular responses, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unclear.
METHODS: The ability of Miz-1 and Arnt to interact was identified in a yeast two-hybrid screen. The mode of interaction and the functional consequences of complex formation were analyzed by diverse molecular biology methods, in vitro. Statistical analyses were performed by Student's t-test and ANOVA.
RESULTS: In the present study we demonstrate that the aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (Arnt), which is central in hypoxia-induced signaling, forms a complex with Miz-1, an important transcriptional regulator in Myc-mediated transcriptional repression. Overexpression of Arnt induced reporter gene activity driven by the proximal promoter of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2B gene (CDKN2B), which is an established target for the Myc/Miz-1 complex. In contrast, mutated forms of Arnt, that were unable to interact with Miz-1, had reduced capability to activate transcription. Moreover, repression of Arnt reduced endogenous CDKN2B expression, and chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrated that Arnt interacts with the CDKN2B promoter. The transcriptional activity of Arnt was counteracted by Myc, but not by a mutated variant of Myc that is unable to interact with Miz-1, suggesting mutually exclusive interaction of Arnt and Myc with Miz-1. Our results also establish CDKN2B as a hypoxia regulated gene, as endogenous CDKN2B mRNA and protein levels were reduced by hypoxic treatment of U2OS cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data reveal a novel mode of regulation by protein-protein interaction that directly ties together, at the transcriptional level, the Myc- and hypoxia-dependent signaling pathways and expands our understanding of the roles of hypoxia and cell cycle alterations during tumorigenesis.

Bochenek G, Häsler R, El Mokhtari NE, et al.
The large non-coding RNA ANRIL, which is associated with atherosclerosis, periodontitis and several forms of cancer, regulates ADIPOR1, VAMP3 and C11ORF10.
Hum Mol Genet. 2013; 22(22):4516-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
The long non-coding RNA ANRIL is the best replicated genetic risk locus of coronary artery disease (CAD) and periodontitis (PD), and is independently associated with a variety of other immune-mediated and metabolic disorders and several forms of cancer. Recent studies showed a correlation of decreased concentrations of proximal ANRIL transcripts with homozygous carriership of the CAD and PD main risk alleles. To elucidate the relation of these transcripts to disease manifestation, we constructed a short hairpin RNA in a stable inducible knock-down system of T-Rex 293 HEK cell lines, specifically targeting the proximal transcripts EU741058 and DQ485454. By genome-wide expression profiling using Affymetrix HG1.0 ST Arrays, we identified the transcription of ADIPOR1, VAMP3 and C11ORF10 to be correlated with decreased ANRIL expression in a time-dependent manner. We validated these findings on a transcriptional and translational level in different cell types. Exploration of the identified genes for the presence of disease associated variants, using Affymetrix 500K genotyping and Illumina custom genotyping arrays, highlighted a region upstream of VAMP3 within CAMTA1 to be associated with increased risk of CAD [rs10864294 P = 0.015, odds ratio (OR) = 1.30, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.1-1.6, 1471 cases, 2737 controls] and aggressive PD (AgP; P = 0.008, OR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.1-1.6, 864 cases, 3664 controls). In silico replication in a meta-analysis of 14 genome-wide association studies of CAD of the CARDIoGRAM Consortium identified rs2301462, located on the same haplotype block, as associated with P = 0.001 upon adjustment for sex and age. Our results give evidence that specific isoforms of ANRIL regulate key genes of glucose and fatty acid metabolism.

Shi X, Sun M, Liu H, et al.
Long non-coding RNAs: a new frontier in the study of human diseases.
Cancer Lett. 2013; 339(2):159-66 [PubMed] Related Publications
With the development of whole genome and transcriptome sequencing technologies, long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have received increased attention. Multiple studies indicate that lncRNAs act not only as the intermediary between DNA and protein but also as important protagonists of cellular functions. LncRNAs can regulate gene expression in many ways, including chromosome remodeling, transcription and post-transcriptional processing. Moreover, the dysregulation of lncRNAs has increasingly been linked to many human diseases, especially in cancers. Here, we reviewed the rapidly advancing field of lncRNAs and described the relationship between the dysregulation of lncRNAs and human diseases, highlighting the specific roles of lncRNAs in human diseases.

Berndt SI, Skibola CF, Joseph V, et al.
Genome-wide association study identifies multiple risk loci for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Nat Genet. 2013; 45(8):868-76 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have previously identified 13 loci associated with risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL). To identify additional CLL susceptibility loci, we conducted the largest meta-analysis for CLL thus far, including four GWAS with a total of 3,100 individuals with CLL (cases) and 7,667 controls. In the meta-analysis, we identified ten independent associated SNPs in nine new loci at 10q23.31 (ACTA2 or FAS (ACTA2/FAS), P=1.22×10(-14)), 18q21.33 (BCL2, P=7.76×10(-11)), 11p15.5 (C11orf21, P=2.15×10(-10)), 4q25 (LEF1, P=4.24×10(-10)), 2q33.1 (CASP10 or CASP8 (CASP10/CASP8), P=2.50×10(-9)), 9p21.3 (CDKN2B-AS1, P=1.27×10(-8)), 18q21.32 (PMAIP1, P=2.51×10(-8)), 15q15.1 (BMF, P=2.71×10(-10)) and 2p22.2 (QPCT, P=1.68×10(-8)), as well as an independent signal at an established locus (2q13, ACOXL, P=2.08×10(-18)). We also found evidence for two additional promising loci below genome-wide significance at 8q22.3 (ODF1, P=5.40×10(-8)) and 5p15.33 (TERT, P=1.92×10(-7)). Although further studies are required, the proximity of several of these loci to genes involved in apoptosis suggests a plausible underlying biological mechanism.

Li CH, Chen Y
Targeting long non-coding RNAs in cancers: progress and prospects.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2013; 45(8):1895-910 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pervasive transcription occurs in the human genome to generate thousands of RNA transcripts, and accumulating evidence suggested that the RNA molecules, without protein coding ability, have important roles in diverse biological functions. Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), with size larger than 200 nt, is a new class of the non-coding RNA that contributes to cancer development and progression. Roles for several lncRNAs in cancers have been characterized and strategies targeting them have inhibitory effects to malignant cells in vitro and in vivo. These findings point to the potential of lncRNAs as prospective novel therapeutic targets in cancers. Recent advance in biological drugs, led by nucleic acid drugs (i.e. siRNAs, antisense oligonucleotides), suggest directions for the development of cancer therapies targeting lncRNAs. Here, we discuss the characteristics of lncRNAs regarding their synthesis, stability and functional role in cells, and emphasize their unique properties that determine their molecular functions. We then discuss the association of lncRNAs with cancers, and illustrate the anticancer effects induced upon modulating the level and function of lncRNAs. We also revisit established methods for targeting RNA molecules and discuss new agents and strategies to attenuate lncRNAs in cancer.

Misery L
[What's new in dermatological research?].
Ann Dermatol Venereol. 2012; 139 Suppl 5:S188-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
Dermatological research is more and more productive and its level higher and higher. Choosing the most significant articles is difficult. Mast cell plays a role in the initiation of inflammation and therefore in poorer healing. Keratinocytes derive from stem cells and progenitors, which are independent. They can be activated directly by heat through sensory proteins at their surface. The cutaneous nervous system has an organization similar to that of the most complex sensory organs. In psoriasis, denervation induces a significant plaque regression. The cerebral integration of skin appearance modulates the skin reactivity to histamine. Pruritus is linked to specific receptors in the skin, which give specific projections into the brain and are histamine-dependent or not. Atopic dermatitis may be linked to the nonspecific activation of Th2 immune system, particularly to abnormalities of the skin barrier. Skin bacteria, but not intestinal, modulate the formation of skin immunity. Raf kinases are well known in melanoma and play an important role in physiological conditions: they are not essential to the initial development of the melanocyte lineage but to maintain it. In culture, melanocytes can be dedifferentiated in melanoblasts. Sunburns are consecutive to the activation of TLR3 by UVB. ANRIL gene is involved in the polymorphism of neurofibromatosis 1 and gene RAD51B is linked to the risk of male breast cancer. MCV infection is linked to sites with sialic acid. Aging objectified by telomere shortening is accelerated by stress.

Chen C, Bartenhagen C, Gombert M, et al.
Next-generation-sequencing-based risk stratification and identification of new genes involved in structural and sequence variations in near haploid lymphoblastic leukemia.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2013; 52(6):564-79 [PubMed] Related Publications
Near haploidy (23-29 chromosomes) is a numerical cytogenetic aberration in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) associated with particularly poor outcome. In contrast, high hyperdiploidy (51-67 chromosomes) has a favorable prognosis. Correct classification and appropriate risk stratification of near haploidy is frequently hampered by the presence of apparently high hyperdiploid clones that arise by endoreduplication of the original near haploid clone. We evaluated next-generation-sequencing (NGS) to distinguish between "high hyperdiploid" leukemic clones of near haploid and true high hyperdiploid origin. Five high hyperdiploid ALL cases and the "high hyperdiploid" cell line MHH-CALL-2, derived from a near haploid clone, were tested for uniparental isodisomy. NGS showed that all disomic chromosomes of MHH-CALL-2, but none of the patients, were of uniparental origin, thus reliably discriminating these subtypes. Whole-exome- and whole-genome-sequencing of MHH-CALL-2 revealed homozygous non-synonymous coding mutations predicted to be deleterious for the protein function of 63 genes, among them known cancer-associated genes, such as FANCA, NF1, TCF7L2, CARD11, EP400, histone demethylases, and transferases (KDM6B, KDM1A, PRDM11). Only eight of these were also, but heterozygously, mutated in the high hyperdiploid patients. Structural variations in MHH-CALL-2 include a homozygous deletion (MTAP/CDKN2A/CDKN2B/ANRIL), a homozygous inversion (NCKAP5), and an unbalanced translocation (FAM189A1). Together, the sequence variations provide MHH-CALL-2 with capabilities typically acquired during cancer development, e.g., loss of cell cycle control, enhanced proliferation, lack of DNA repair, cell death evasion, and disturbance of epigenetic gene regulation. Poorer prognosis of near haploid ALL most likely results from full penetrance of a large array of detrimental homozygous mutations.

Gu F, Pfeiffer RM, Bhattacharjee S, et al.
Common genetic variants in the 9p21 region and their associations with multiple tumours.
Br J Cancer. 2013; 108(6):1378-86 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The chromosome 9p21.3 region has been implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple cancers.
METHODS: We systematically examined up to 203 tagging SNPs of 22 genes on 9p21.3 (19.9-32.8 Mb) in eight case-control studies: thyroid cancer, endometrial cancer (EC), renal cell carcinoma, colorectal cancer (CRC), colorectal adenoma (CA), oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), gastric cardia adenocarcinoma and osteosarcoma (OS). We used logistic regression to perform single SNP analyses for each study separately, adjusting for study-specific covariates. We combined SNP results across studies by fixed-effect meta-analyses and a newly developed subset-based statistical approach (ASSET). Gene-based P-values were obtained by the minP method using the Adaptive Rank Truncated Product program. We adjusted for multiple comparisons by Bonferroni correction.
RESULTS: Rs3731239 in cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors 2A (CDKN2A) was significantly associated with ESCC (P=7 × 10(-6)). The CDKN2A-ESCC association was further supported by gene-based analyses (Pgene=0.0001). In the meta-analyses by ASSET, four SNPs (rs3731239 in CDKN2A, rs615552 and rs573687 in CDKN2B and rs564398 in CDKN2BAS) showed significant associations with ESCC and EC (P<2.46 × 10(-4)). One SNP in MTAP (methylthioadenosine phosphorylase) (rs7023329) that was previously associated with melanoma and nevi in multiple genome-wide association studies was associated with CRC, CA and OS by ASSET (P=0.007).
CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that genetic variants in CDKN2A, and possibly nearby genes, may be associated with ESCC and several other tumours, further highlighting the importance of 9p21.3 genetic variants in carcinogenesis.

Mußotter T, Kluwe L, Högel J, et al.
Non-coding RNA ANRIL and the number of plexiform neurofibromas in patients with NF1 microdeletions.
BMC Med Genet. 2012; 13:98 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Neurofibromatosis type-1 (NF1) is caused by mutations of the NF1 gene at 17q11.2. In 95% of non-founder NF1 patients, NF1 mutations are identifiable by means of a comprehensive mutation analysis. 5-10% of these patients harbour microdeletions encompassing the NF1 gene and its flanking regions. NF1 is characterised by tumours of the peripheral nerve sheaths, the pathognomonic neurofibromas. Considerable inter- and intra-familial variation in expressivity of the disease has been observed which is influenced by genetic modifiers unrelated to the constitutional NF1 mutation. The number of plexiform neurofibromas (PNF) in NF1 patients is a highly heritable genetic trait. Recently, SNP rs2151280 located within the non-coding RNA gene ANRIL at 9p21.3, was identified as being strongly associated with PNF number in a family-based association study. The T-allele of rs2151280, which correlates with reduced ANRIL expression, appears to be associated with higher PNF number. ANRIL directly binds to the SUZ12 protein, an essential component of polycomb repressive complex 2, and is required for SUZ12 occupancy of the CDKN2A/CDKN2B tumour suppressor genes as well as for their epigenetic silencing.
METHODS: Here, we explored a potential association of PNF number and PNF volume with SNP rs2151280 in 29 patients with constitutional NF1 microdeletions using the exact Cochran-Armitage test for trends and the exact Mann-Whitney-Wilcoxon test. Both the PNF number and total tumour volume in these 29 NF1 patients were assessed by whole-body MRI. The NF1 microdeletions observed in these 29 patients encompassed the NF1 gene as well as its flanking regions, including the SUZ12 gene.
RESULTS: In the 29 microdeletion patients investigated, neither the PNF number nor PNF volume was found to be associated with the T-allele of rs2151280.
CONCLUSION: Our findings imply that, at least in patients with NF1 microdeletions, PNF susceptibility is not associated with rs2151280. Although somatic inactivation of the NF1 wild-type allele is considered to be the PNF-initiating event in NF1 patients with intragenic mutations and patients with NF1 microdeletions, both patient groups may differ with regard to tumour progression because of the heterozygous constitutional deletion of SUZ12 present only in patients with NF1 microdeletions.

Kitagawa M, Kotake Y, Ohhata T
Long non-coding RNAs involved in cancer development and cell fate determination.
Curr Drug Targets. 2012; 13(13):1616-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
The possible physiological significance of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) has only recently been recognized. Technical innovations such as the super high-resolution tiling array and deep sequencing technology have indicated their importance. It has been proposed that lncRNAs such as HOTAIR are involved in the recruitment of chromatin modifiers to the target genes. The lncRNA ANRIL has been reported to be associated with a Polycomb complex, recruiting it to the target gene INK4 locus where it suppresses transcription via histone modification. Other lncRNAs such as Kcnq1ot1, AIR and Xist have also been found to recruit chromatin modifiers to their target loci. In this review, we discuss the function of lncRNAs such as HOTAIR, ANRIL, Kcnq1ot1, and Xist which recruit chromatin modifiers to target genes and discuss their involvement in cancer development and aggressiveness, and other cell fate determination.

Gutschner T, Diederichs S
The hallmarks of cancer: a long non-coding RNA point of view.
RNA Biol. 2012; 9(6):703-19 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
With the advent of next generation sequencing methods and progress in transcriptome analysis, it became obvious that the human genome contains much more than just protein-coding genes. In fact, up to 70% of our genome is transcribed into RNA that does not serve as templates for proteins. In this review, we focus on the emerging roles of these long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in the field of tumor biology. Long ncRNAs were found to be deregulated in several human cancers and show tissue-specific expression. Functional studies revealed a broad spectrum of mechanisms applied by lncRNAs such as HOTAIR, MALAT1, ANRIL or lincRNA-p21 to fulfill their functions. Here, we link the cellular processes influenced by long ncRNAs to the hallmarks of cancer and therefore provide an ncRNA point-of-view on tumor biology. This should stimulate new research directions and therapeutic options considering long ncRNAs as novel prognostic markers and therapeutic targets.

Pasmant E, Sabbagh A, Masliah-Planchon J, et al.
Role of noncoding RNA ANRIL in genesis of plexiform neurofibromas in neurofibromatosis type 1.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011; 103(22):1713-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a tumor predisposition syndrome with a worldwide birth incidence of one in 2500. Genetic factors unrelated to the NF1 locus are thought to influence the number of plexiform neurofibromas (PNFs) in patients with NF1, but no factors have been identified to date.
METHODS: We used high-resolution array comparative genomic hybridization of tissue from 22 PNFs obtained from 18 NF1 patients to identify modifier genes involved in PNF development. We used a family-based association test for five previously identified cancer-susceptibility tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (rs1063192, rs2151280, rs2218220, rs10757257, and rs7023329) located in chromosomal region 9p21.3 in 1105 subjects (740 NF1 patients and 365 non-affected relatives) from 306 families. To confirm the functional role of rs2151280, we used real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction to analyze the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (CDKN2A), CDKN2B, alternate reading frame (ARF), and antisense noncoding RNA in the INK4 locus (ANRIL) in the peripheral blood of 124 NF1 patients. Relationships between CDKN2A, CDKN2B, ARF, and ANRIL expression and the rs2151280 genotype were tested by the Kruskal-Wallis test. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: In NF1-associated PNFs, 9p21.3 deletions (including the CDKN2A/B-ANRIL locus) were found as the only recurrent somatic alterations. Single-nucleotide polymorphism rs2151280 (located in ANRIL) was statistically significantly associated with the number of PNFs (P < .001) in NF1 patients. In addition, allele T of rs2151280 was statistically significantly associated with reduced ANRIL transcript levels (P < .001), suggesting that modulation of ANRIL expression mediates PNF susceptibility.
CONCLUSION: Identification of ANRIL as a modifier gene in NF1 may offer clues to the molecular pathogenesis of PNFs, particularly neurofibroma formation, and emphasizes the unanticipated role of large noncoding RNA in activation of critical regulators of tumor development.

Iacobucci I, Sazzini M, Garagnani P, et al.
A polymorphism in the chromosome 9p21 ANRIL locus is associated to Philadelphia positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Leuk Res. 2011; 35(8):1052-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Little is known about alterations of cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors p15INK4B, p16INK4A and of MDM2 inhibitor p14ARF due to single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located within the CDKN2A/B genes and/or neighbouring loci. In order to investigate the potential involvement of such common DNA sequence variants in leukemia susceptibility, an association study was performed by genotyping 23 SNPs spanning the MTAP, CDKN2A/B and CDKN2BAS loci, as well as relative intergenic regions, in a case-control cohort made up of 149 leukemia patients, including Philadelphia positive (Ph(+)) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) samples, and 183 healthy controls. rs564398, mapping to the CDKN2BAS locus that encodes for ANRIL antisense non-coding RNA, showed a statistically significant correlation with the ALL phenotype, with a risk pattern that was compatible with an overdominant model of disease susceptibility and a OR of 2 (95% CI, 1.20-3.33; p=7.1×10(-3)). We hypothesized that this association reflects the capability of some ANRIL polymorphisms to contribute to its transcription changes responsible for alterations of CDKN2A/B expression profiles, thus leading to abnormal proliferative boosts and consequent increased ALL susceptibility.

Pasmant E, Laurendeau I, Sabbagh A, et al.
[The amazing story of ANRIL, a long non-coding RNA].
Med Sci (Paris). 2010 Jun-Jul; 26(6-7):564-6 [PubMed] Related Publications

Yap KL, Li S, Muñoz-Cabello AM, et al.
Molecular interplay of the noncoding RNA ANRIL and methylated histone H3 lysine 27 by polycomb CBX7 in transcriptional silencing of INK4a.
Mol Cell. 2010; 38(5):662-74 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Expression of the INK4b/ARF/INK4a tumor suppressor locus in normal and cancerous cell growth is controlled by methylation of histone H3 at lysine 27 (H3K27me) as directed by the Polycomb group proteins. The antisense noncoding RNA ANRIL of the INK4b/ARF/INK4a locus is also important for expression of the protein-coding genes in cis, but its mechanism has remained elusive. Here we report that chromobox 7 (CBX7) within the polycomb repressive complex 1 binds to ANRIL, and both CBX7 and ANRIL are found at elevated levels in prostate cancer tissues. In concert with H3K27me recognition, binding to RNA contributes to CBX7 function, and disruption of either interaction impacts the ability of CBX7 to repress the INK4b/ARF/INK4a locus and control senescence. Structure-guided analysis reveals the molecular interplay between noncoding RNA and H3K27me as mediated by the conserved chromodomain. Our study suggests a mechanism by which noncoding RNA participates directly in epigenetic transcriptional repression.

Rodriguez C, Borgel J, Court F, et al.
CTCF is a DNA methylation-sensitive positive regulator of the INK/ARF locus.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010; 392(2):129-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
The INK4B-ARF-INK4A (INK/ARF) locus is composed of three tumor suppressor genes, which are kept silenced by DNA methylation in different cancer types. In addition, a non-coding RNA (ANRIL) is transcribed in the anti-sense orientation upstream of the ARF gene. The resulting divergent promoter region is bound by the chromatin insulator protein CTCF in association with histone H3 tri-methylated on lysine 4, irrespective of transcription of ANRIL and ARF. Methylation of the overlapping CpG island abolishes CTCF binding and the associated modification, which can be restored by 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-dC) treatment. shRNA knock down of CTCF expression dramatically reduces the induction of ANRIL and ARF, but also that of INK4A and INK4B expression by 5-Aza-dC. We propose that CTCF is an essential factor for transcription of the INK/ARF locus and that abrogation of its binding by DNA methylation contributes to the permanent silencing of several genes of the locus in tumors.

Beroukhim R, Brunet JP, Di Napoli A, et al.
Patterns of gene expression and copy-number alterations in von-hippel lindau disease-associated and sporadic clear cell carcinoma of the kidney.
Cancer Res. 2009; 69(11):4674-81 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Recent insights into the role of the von-Hippel Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene in hereditary and sporadic clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) have led to new treatments for patients with metastatic ccRCC, although virtually all patients eventually succumb to the disease. We performed an integrated, genome-wide analysis of copy-number changes and gene expression profiles in 90 tumors, including both sporadic and VHL disease-associated tumors, in hopes of identifying new therapeutic targets in ccRCC. We identified 14 regions of nonrandom copy-number change, including 7 regions of amplification (1q, 2q, 5q, 7q, 8q, 12p, and 20q) and 7 regions of deletion (1p, 3p, 4q, 6q, 8p, 9p, and 14q). An analysis aimed at identifying the relevant genes revealed VHL as one of three genes in the 3p deletion peak, CDKN2A and CDKN2B as the only genes in the 9p deletion peak, and MYC as the only gene in the 8q amplification peak. An integrated analysis to identify genes in amplification peaks that are consistently overexpressed among amplified samples confirmed MYC as a potential target of 8q amplification and identified candidate oncogenes in the other regions. A comparison of genomic profiles revealed that VHL disease-associated tumors are similar to a subgroup of sporadic tumors and thus more homogeneous overall. Sporadic tumors without evidence of biallelic VHL inactivation fell into two groups: one group with genomic profiles highly dissimilar to the majority of ccRCC and a second group with genomic profiles that are much more similar to tumors with biallelic inactivation of VHL.

Yu W, Gius D, Onyango P, et al.
Epigenetic silencing of tumour suppressor gene p15 by its antisense RNA.
Nature. 2008; 451(7175):202-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Tumour suppressor genes (TSGs) inhibiting normal cellular growth are frequently silenced epigenetically in cancer. DNA methylation is commonly associated with TSG silencing, yet mutations in the DNA methylation initiation and recognition machinery in carcinogenesis are unknown. An intriguing possible mechanism for gene regulation involves widespread non-coding RNAs such as microRNA, Piwi-interacting RNA and antisense RNAs. Widespread sense-antisense transcripts have been systematically identified in mammalian cells, and global transcriptome analysis shows that up to 70% of transcripts have antisense partners and that perturbation of antisense RNA can alter the expression of the sense gene. For example, it has been shown that an antisense transcript not naturally occurring but induced by genetic mutation leads to gene silencing and DNA methylation, causing thalassaemia in a patient. Here we show that many TSGs have nearby antisense RNAs, and we focus on the role of one RNA in silencing p15, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor implicated in leukaemia. We found an inverse relation between p15 antisense (p15AS) and p15 sense expression in leukaemia. A p15AS expression construct induced p15 silencing in cis and in trans through heterochromatin formation but not DNA methylation; the silencing persisted after p15AS was turned off, although methylation and heterochromatin inhibitors reversed this process. The p15AS-induced silencing was Dicer-independent. Expression of exogenous p15AS in mouse embryonic stem cells caused p15 silencing and increased growth, through heterochromatin formation, as well as DNA methylation after differentiation of the embryonic stem cells. Thus, natural antisense RNA may be a trigger for heterochromatin formation and DNA methylation in TSG silencing in tumorigenesis.

Pasmant E, Laurendeau I, Héron D, et al.
Characterization of a germ-line deletion, including the entire INK4/ARF locus, in a melanoma-neural system tumor family: identification of ANRIL, an antisense noncoding RNA whose expression coclusters with ARF.
Cancer Res. 2007; 67(8):3963-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have previously detected a large germ-line deletion, which included the entire p15/CDKN2B-p16/CDKN2A-p14/ARF gene cluster, in the largest melanoma-neural system tumor (NST) syndrome family known to date by means of heterozygosity mapping based on microsatellite markers. Here, we used gene dose mapping with sequence-tagged site real-time PCR to locate the deletion end points, which were then precisely characterized by means of long-range PCR and nucleotide sequencing. The deletion was exactly 403,231 bp long and included the entire p15/CDKN2B, p16/CDKN2A, and p14/ARF genes. We then developed a simple and rapid assay to detect the junction fragment and to serve as a direct predictive DNA test for this large French family. We identified a new large antisense noncoding RNA (named ANRIL) within the 403-kb germ-line deletion, with a first exon located in the promoter of the p14/ARF gene and overlapping the two exons of p15/CDKN2B. Expression of ANRIL mainly coclustered with p14/ARF both in physiologic (various normal human tissues) and in pathologic conditions (human breast tumors). This study points to the existence of a new gene within the p15/CDKN2B-p16/CDKN2A-p14/ARF locus putatively involved in melanoma-NST syndrome families and in melanoma-prone families with no identified p16/CDKN2A mutations as well as in somatic tumors.

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