Involvement of transcribed lncRNA uc.291 and SWI/SNF complex in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma

M. Mancini, A. Cappello, R. Pecorari, A. M. Lena, M. Montanaro, L. Fania, F. Ricci, G. Di Lella, M. C. Piro, D. Abeni, E. Dellambra, A. Mauriello, G. Melino, E. Candi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) are the most common tumours in humans, only the sub-type cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC), might become metastatic with high lethality. We have recently identified a regulatory pathway involving the lncRNA transcript uc.291 in controlling the expression of epidermal differentiation complex genes via the interaction with ACTL6A, a component of the chromatin remodelling complex SWI/SNF. Since transcribed ultra-conserved regions (T-UCRs) are expressed in normal tissues and are deregulated in tumorigenesis, here we hypothesize a potential role for dysregulation of this axis in cSCC, accounting for the de-differentiation process observed in aggressive poorly differentiated cutaneous carcinomas. We therefore analysed their expression patterns in human tumour biopsies at mRNA and protein levels. The results suggest that by altering chromatin accessibility of the epidermal differentiation complex genes, down-regulation of uc.291 and BRG1 expression contribute to the de-differentiation process seen in keratinocyte malignancy. This provides future direction for the identification of clinical biomarkers in cutaneous SCC. Analysis of publicly available data sets indicates that the above may also be a general feature for SCCs of different origins.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
JournalDiscover Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • ACTL6A
  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Epidermis
  • LncRNA
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • SWI/SNF complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Oncology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems


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