The Collignon Lab recently published a new article in Non-coding RNA :
The TGFβ family member NODAL, repeatedly required during embryonic development, has also been associated with tumour progression. Our aim was to clarify the controversy surrounding its involvement in melanoma tumour progression. We found that the deletion of the NODAL exon 2 in a metastatic melanoma cell line impairs its ability to form tumours and colonize distant tissues. However, we show that this phenotype does not result from the absence of NODAL, but from a defect in the expression of a natural antisense transcript of NODAL, here called LADON. We show that LADON expression is specifically activated in metastatic melanoma cell lines, that its transcript is packaged in exosomes secreted by melanoma cells, and that, via its differential impact on the expression of oncogenes and tumour suppressors, it promotes the mesenchymal to amoeboid transition that is critical for melanoma cell invasiveness. LADON is, therefore, a new player in the regulatory network governing tumour progression in melanoma and possibly in other types of cancer.