Technical triplicates of Trizol-purified RNA from each experimental condition were reverse transcribed into cDNA using qScript Flex cDNA kit (Cat # 95049, Quantabio, Beverly, USA) primed with equal molar ratio of oligo-dT and random primers according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Quantitative RT-PCR was carried out using SYBR Green MasterMix (Life Technologies, Carlsbad, USA) and gene-specific primers previously validated in the literature ( Table 1). These included protein-coding mRNAs EpCAM 21, BIRC5 22, YBX1 23, GAPDH, and HPRT1, and lncRNAs ZFAS1 17, HOTAIR 19, and AGAP2-AS1 20. Three independent experiments were performed with duplicate PCR reactions per sample. RT-qPCR data were presented as cycle threshold (CT) values. Expression values were normalized relative to GAPDH mRNA expression. Statistical analysis was performed using multiple T-test.