Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(2):546-554. doi:10.7150/ijms.51947 This issue

Research Paper

Long non-coding RNA MSC-AS1 facilitates the proliferation and glycolysis of gastric cancer cells by regulating PFKFB3 expression

Xianzhen Jin1#, Lina Qiao1#, Hui Fan1, Chunyan Liao1, Jianbao Zheng1, Wei Wang1, Xiuqin Ma2, Min Yang3, Xuejun Sun1✉, Wei Zhao1✉

1. Department of General Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710061, P.R. China.
2. Department of Nursing, Hanzhong Central Hospital, Hanzhong 723000, P.R. China.
3. Department of Nursing, Xianyang Hospital, Yan'an University, Xianyang 712000, P.R. China.
#These authors contributed equally to this work.

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Jin X, Qiao L, Fan H, Liao C, Zheng J, Wang W, Ma X, Yang M, Sun X, Zhao W. Long non-coding RNA MSC-AS1 facilitates the proliferation and glycolysis of gastric cancer cells by regulating PFKFB3 expression. Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(2):546-554. doi:10.7150/ijms.51947. Available from

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Long non-coding RNA musculin antisense RNA 1 (lncRNA MSC-AS1) has been recognized as an oncogene in pancreatic cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and renal cell carcinoma. However, the functional significance of MSC-AS1 and its underlying mechanism in gastric cancer (GC) progression remain unclear. In this study, we demonstrated that the expression of MSC-AS1 in GC tissues was significantly higher than that in non-tumor tissues. Moreover, the elevated level of MSC-AS1 was detected in GC cells (MKN-45, AGS, SGC-7901, and MGC-803) compared to normal GES-1 gastric mucosal cells. The cancer genome atlas (TCGA) data further indicated that the high level of MSC-AS1 was closely correlated with advanced tumor stage and poor prognosis of GC. Next, we revealed that MSC-AS1 knockdown inhibited the proliferation, glucose consumption, lactate production, and pyruvate production of MGC-803 cells. Conversely, MSC-AS1 overexpression enhanced the proliferation and glycolysis of AGC cells. Mechanistically, modulating MSC-AS1 level affected the expression of 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-biphosphatase 3 (PFKFB3), but did not impact the levels of hexokinase 2 (HK2) and pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) in GC cells. Based on this, we reversed the MSC-AS1 knockdown-induced the inhibition of cell proliferation and glycolysis by restoring PFKFB3 expression in MGC-803 cells. In conclusion, MSC-AS1 facilitated the proliferation and glycolysis of GC cells by maintaining PFKFB3 expression.

Keywords: Gastric cancer, LncRNA, MSC-AS1, PFKFB3, Proliferation, Glycolysis