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MYCNOS functions as an antisense RNA regulating MYCN

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journal contribution
posted on 16.10.2015 by Nadia Vadie, Sheena Saayman, Alexandra Lenox, Amanda Ackley, Mathew Clemson, Jon Burdach, Jonathan Hart, Peter K Vogt, Kevin V Morris

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.