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Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 163–175 | Cite as

Long noncoding RNAs and tumorigenesis: genetic associations, molecular mechanisms, and therapeutic strategies

  • Fan Zhang
  • Liang Zhang
  • Caiguo Zhang
Review

Abstract

The human genome contains a large number of nonprotein-coding sequences. Recently, new discoveries in the functions of nonprotein-coding sequences have demonstrated that the “Dark Genome” significantly contributes to human diseases, especially with regard to cancer. Of particular interest in this review are long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), which comprise a class of nonprotein-coding transcripts that are longer than 200 nucleotides. Accumulating evidence indicates that a large number of lncRNAs exhibit genetic associations with tumorigenesis, tumor progression, and metastasis. Our current understanding of the molecular bases of these lncRNAs that are associated with cancer indicate that they play critical roles in gene transcription, translation, and chromatin modification. Therapeutic strategies based on the targeting of lncRNAs to disrupt their expression or their functions are being developed. In this review, we briefly summarize and discuss the genetic associations and the aberrant expression of lncRNAs in cancer, with a particular focus on studies that have revealed the molecular mechanisms of lncRNAs in tumorigenesis. In addition, we also discuss different therapeutic strategies that involve the targeting of lncRNAs.

Keywords

Long noncoding RNA Cancer Aberrant expression p53 Therapy RNAi CRISPR/cas9 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We apologize to all authors whose contributions were not cited due to space limitations.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

None

Supplementary material

13277_2015_4445_MOESM1_ESM.docx (117 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 116 kb)

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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OrthopedicsThe first Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical UniversityKunmingChina
  2. 2.Hong-Hui HospitalXi’an Jiaotong University, College of MedicineXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular GeneticsUniversity of Colorado School of MedicineAuroraUSA

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