MYCNOS functions as an antisense RNA regulating MYCN

Amplification or overexpression of neuronal MYC (MYCN) is associated with poor prognosis of human neuroblastoma. Three isoforms of the MYCN protein have been described as well as a protein encoded by an antisense transcript (MYCNOS) that originates from the opposite strand at the MYCN locus. Recent findings suggest that some antisense long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) can play a role in epigenetically regulating gene expression. Here we report that MYCNOS transcripts function as a modulator of the MYCN locus, affecting MYCN promoter usage and recruiting various proteins, including the Ras GTPase-activating protein-binding protein G3BP1, to the upstream MYCN promoter. Overexpression of MYCNOS results in a reduction of upstream MYCN promoter usage and increased MYCN expression, suggesting that the protein-coding MYCNOS also functions as a regulator of MYCN ultimately controlling MYCN transcriptional variants. The observations presented here demonstrate that protein-coding transcripts can regulate gene transcription and can tether regulatory proteins to target loci.