Pseudogene-expressed RNAs: a new frontier in cancers
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Over the past decade, the importance of non-protein-coding functional elements in the human genome has emerged from the water and been identified as a key revelation in post-genomic biology. Since the completion of the ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) and FANTOM (Functional Annotation of Mammals) project, tens of thousands of pseudogenes as well as numerous long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) genes were identified. However, while pseudogenes were initially regarded as non-functional relics littering the human genome during evolution, recent studies have revealed that they play critical roles at multiple levels in diverse physiological and pathological processes, especially in cancer through parental-gene-dependent or parental-gene-independent regulation. Herein, we review the current knowledge of pseudogenes and synthesize the nascent evidence for functional properties and regulatory modalities exerted by pseudogene-transcribed RNAs in human cancers and prospect the potential as molecular signatures in cancer reclassification and tailored therapy.
KeywordsPseudogenes RNA Cancer
This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.81472198), the Key Clinical Medicine Technology Foundation of Jiangsu Province (No.BL2014096), and the Medical Key Talented Person Foundation of the Jiangsu Provincial Developing Health Project (No.RC2011080).
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