Background: A recent study reported that long non-coding RNA activated by TGF-β (lncRNA-ATB) induced epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) through the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/miR-200s/ZEB axis in hepatocellular carcinoma. Herein, we focused on the clinical significance of lncRNA-ATB in gastric cancer (GC) patients. Materials and Methods: Quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was performed to examine expression of lncRNA-ATB, miR-200b, and miR-200c in GC tissues (n = 183). Patients were divided into high and low lncRNA-ATB expression groups using a cutoff of lncRNA-ATB/GAPDH ≥0.60 or <0.60 to determine the clinicopathological significance of lncRNA-ATB in GC. Moreover, we evaluated the expression of TGF-β, lncRNA-ATB, miR-200s, and ZEB1 in GC cell lines by qRT-PCR. GC cell lines were treated by recombinant TGF-β1 or TGF-β receptor inhibitor to examine morphologic changes and genetic alterations, such as lncRNA-ATB, miR-200s, and ZEB1 levels, with respect to the EMT phenotype. Results: The high lncRNA-ATB group experienced a lower overall survival rate compared with the low lncRNA-ATB group, and multivariate analysis indicated that lncRNA-ATB was an independent prognostic factor (hazard ratio 3.50; 95 % CI 1.73–7.44; p = 0.0004). miR-200c levels were lower and ZEB1 levels were higher in the high lncRNA-ATB group than in the low lncRNA-ATB group. Treatment with TGF-β in GC cell lines resulted in morphological EMT changes, upregulation of lncRNA-ATB and ZEB1, and downregulation of miR-200c and CDH1. SB431542 reduced lncRNA-ATB expression. Conclusion: LncRNA-ATB plays an important role in EMT to promote invasion and metastasis through the TGF-β/miR-200s/ZEB axis, resulting in a poor prognosis in GC. LncRNA-ATB is a novel biomarker of lncRNA, indicative of a poor prognosis in GC patients.
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