International Journal of Medical Sciences

Impact factor

17 November 2018

ISSN 1449-1907 News feeds of published articles

Manuscript login | Account

open access Global reach, higher impact

Journal of Genomics in PubMed Central. Submit manuscript now...


Journal of Cancer

International Journal of Biological Sciences

Journal of Genomics

Journal of Bone and Joint Infection (JBJI)


Journal of Biomedicine


PubMed Central Indexed in Journal Impact Factor

Int J Med Sci 2017; 14(10):1022-1030. doi:10.7150/ijms.18392

Research Paper

LncRNA AFAP1-AS Functions as a Competing Endogenous RNA to Regulate RAP1B Expression by sponging miR-181a in the HSCR

Guanglin Chen1, 3*, Lei Peng1, 3*, Zhongxian Zhu1, 3*, Chunxia Du1, 3, Ziyang Shen1, 3, Rujin Zang1, 3, Yang Su1, 3, Yankai Xia1, 2, Weibing Tang1, 3✉

1. State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Institute of Toxicology, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 211166, China;
2. Key Laboratory of Modern Toxicology (Nanjing Medical University), Ministry of Education, China;
3. Department of Pediatric Surgery, Children's Hospital of Nanjing Medical University.
* These authors contributed equally


Background: Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have recently emerged as important regulators in a broad spectrum of cellular processes including development and disease. Despite the known engagement of the AFAP1-AS in several human diseases, its biological function in Hirschsprung disease (HSCR) remains elusive.

Methods: We used qRT-PCR to detect the relative expression of AFAP1-AS in 64 HSCR bowel tissues and matched normal intestinal tissues. The effects of AFAP1-AS on cell proliferation, migration, cell cycle, apoptosis and cytoskeletal organization were evaluated using CCK-8, transwell assay, flow cytometer analysis and immunofluorescence, in 293T and SH-SY5Y cell lines, respectively. Moreover, the competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) activity of AFAP1-AS on miR-181a was investigated via luciferase reporter assay and immunoblot analysis.

Results: Aberrant inhibition of AFAP1-AS was observed in HSCR tissues. Knockdown of AFAP1-AS in 293T and SH-SY5Y cells suppressed cell proliferation, migration, and induced the loss of cell stress filament integrity, possibly due to AFAP1-AS sequestering miR-181a in HSCR cells. Furthermore, AFAP1-AS could down-regulate RAP1B via its competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) activity on miR-181a.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that aberrant expression of lncRNA AFAP1-AS, a ceRNA of miR-181a, may involve in the onset and progression of HSCR by augmenting the miR-181a target gene, RAP1B.

Keywords: AFAP1-AS, Hirschsprung disease, Competing endogenous RNA, miR-181a.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) license ( See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Chen G, Peng L, Zhu Z, Du C, Shen Z, Zang R, Su Y, Xia Y, Tang W. LncRNA AFAP1-AS Functions as a Competing Endogenous RNA to Regulate RAP1B Expression by sponging miR-181a in the HSCR. Int J Med Sci 2017; 14(10):1022-1030. doi:10.7150/ijms.18392. Available from