Epstein–Barr Virus-Encoded MicroRNA-BART18-3p Promotes Colorectal Cancer Progression by Targeting De Novo Lipogenesis

Qingtao Meng, Hao Sun, Shenshen Wu, Giuseppe Familiari, Michela Relucenti, Michael Aschner, Xiaobo Li, Rui Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) genome encodes a cluster of 22 viral microRNAs, called miR-BamHI-A rightward transcripts (miR-BARTs), which are shown to promote the development of cancer. Here, this study reports that EBV-miR-BART18-3p is highly expressed in colorectal cancer (CRC) and is closely associated with the pathological and advanced clinical stages of CRC. Ectopic expression of EBV-miR-BART18-3p leads to increased migration and invasion capacities of CRC cells in vitro and causes tumor metastasis in vivo. Mechanistically, EBV-miR-BART18-3p activates the hypoxia inducible factor 1 subunit alpha/lactate dehydrogenase A axis by targeting Sirtuin, which promotes lactate accumulation and acetyl-CoA production in CRC cells under hypoxic condition. Increased acetyl-CoA utilization subsequently leads to histone acetylation of fatty acid synthase and fatty acid synthase-dependent fat synthesis, which in turn drives de novo lipogenesis. The oncogenic role of EBV-miR-BART18-3p is confirmed in the patient-derived tumor xenograft mouse model. Altogether, the findings define a novel mechanism of EBV-miR-BART18-3p in CRC development through the lipogenesis pathway and provide a potential clinical intervention target for CRC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2202116
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number35
StatePublished - Dec 19 2022


  • Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)
  • colorectal cancer (CRC)
  • de novo lipogenesis
  • lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA)
  • microRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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