The Long Noncoding RNA SPRIGHTLY Regulates Cell Proliferation in Primary Human Melanocytes

Wei Zhao, Joseph Mazar, Bongyong Lee, Junko Sawada, Jian Liang Li, John Shelley, Subramaniam Govindarajan, Dwight Towler, John S. Mattick, Masanobu Komatsu, Marcel E. Dinger, Ranjan J. Perera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The long noncoding RNA SPRIGHTLY (formerly SPRY4-IT1), which lies within the intronic region of the SPRY4 gene, is up-regulated in human melanoma cells compared to melanocytes. SPRIGHTLY regulates a number of cancer hallmarks, including proliferation, motility, and apoptosis. To better understand its oncogenic role, SPRIGHTLY was stably transfected into human melanocytes, which resulted in increased cellular proliferation, colony formation, invasion, and development of a multinucleated dendritic-like phenotype. RNA sequencing and mass spectrometric analysis of SPRIGHTLY-expressing cells revealed changes in the expression of genes involved in cell proliferation, apoptosis, chromosome organization, regulation of DNA damage responses, and cell cycle. The proliferation marker Ki67, minichromosome maintenance genes 2-5, antiapoptotic gene X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis, and baculoviral IAP repeat-containing 7 were all up-regulated in SPRIGHTLY-expressing melanocytes, whereas the proapoptotic tumor suppressor gene DPPIV/CD26 was down-regulated, followed by an increase in extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 phosphorylation, suggesting an increase in mitogen-activated protein kinase activity. Because down-regulation of DPPIV is known to be associated with malignant transformation in melanocytes, SPRIGHTLY-mediated DPPIV down-regulation may play an important role in melanoma pathobiology. Together, these findings provide important insights into how SPRIGHTLY regulates cell proliferation and anchorage-independent colony formation in primary human melanocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)819-828
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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