Human Cell

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 334–342 | Cite as

The lncRNA UNC5B-AS1 promotes proliferation, migration, and invasion in papillary thyroid cancer cell lines

  • Yinghao Wang
  • Adheesh Bhandari
  • Jizhao Niu
  • Fan Yang
  • Erjie Xia
  • Zhihan Yao
  • Yixiang Jin
  • Zhouci Zheng
  • Shixu LvEmail author
  • Ouchen WangEmail author
Research Article


The incidence of thyroid cancer detection is continually improving worldwide with the spread of diagnostic imaging and surveillance. Although we have made great progress, there are still unknown mechanisms of papillary thyroid cancer. We found that UNC5B-AS1 is a potential oncogene in thyroid cancer. Therefore, our study aimed to investigate the biological functions of the lncRNA UNC5B-AS1 in papillary thyroid cancer. As a result, RNA-seq data on primary papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) in the TCGA database were obtained. RT-qPCR was performed to evaluate the expression levels in thyroid tissue. We then analysed the expression level of UNC5B-AS1 and its association with clinicopathologic characteristics in the TCGA database. We downregulated UNC5B-AS1 using small interfering RNA and carried out assays of cell proliferation, colony formation, migration and invasion to explore the function of UNC5B-AS1 in PTC cell lines (TPC1 and BCPAP). These results suggested that the lncRNA UNC5B-AS1 was significantly upregulated in both the TCGA cohort and our tissue cohort. Upregulated UNC5B-AS1 correlated with lymph node metastasis (P < 0.001), tumor size (P = 0.002) and histological type (P = 0.013). We also achieved an area under the ROC curve (AUC) of 93.2% for our validated cohort, which was consistent with the AUC of 94.5% for the TCGA cohort, for differentiating between PTC tissues and normal tissues. Downregulating UNC5B-AS1 expression at the RNA level significantly inhibited cell proliferation, colony formation, migration, and invasion in PTC cell lines (TPC1 and BCPAP). This study demonstrated that the lncRNA UNC5B-AS1 plays an important role in tumourigenesis and metastasis of PTC and may be a potential therapeutic target for PTC.





This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 81372380).

Author contributions

AB wrote the manuscript. AB and YW did the main experiments. JN and EX collected and analysed the raw data. FY, ZY, YJ and ZZ helped to revise the article. OW and SL designed the whole work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

This study was subject to approval by the Ethics Committee Board of the First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China.

Consent for publication

Written informed consent was issued by the patients for the publication of this study. A copy of the written consent is ready for review by the Editor in Chief of this journal.


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Copyright information

© Japan Human Cell Society and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Thyroid and Breast SurgeryThe First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical UniversityWenzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Cardiac SurgeryThe First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical UniversityWenzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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