Lung cancers with neuroendocrine (NE) features are often very aggressive but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain elusive. The transcription factor ASH1/ASCL1 is a master regulator of pulmonary NE cell development that is involved in the pathogenesis of lung cancers with NE features (NE-lung cancers). Here we report the definition of the microRNA miR-375 as a key downstream effector of ASH1 function in NE-lung cancer cells. miR-375 was markedly induced by ASH1 in lung cancer cells where it was sufficient to induce NE differentiation. miR-375 upregulation was a prerequisite for ASH1-mediated induction of NE features. The transcriptional coactivator YAP1 was determined to be a direct target of miR-375. YAP1 showed a negative correlation with miR-375 in a panel of lung cancer cell lines and growth inhibitory activities in NE-lung cancer cells. Our results elucidate an ASH1 effector axis in NE-lung cancers that is functionally pivotal in controlling NE features and the alleviation from YAP1-mediated growth inhibition.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research