HOTAIR: Flight of noncoding RNAs in cancer metastasis

Cell Cycle. 2010 Sep 1;9(17):3391-2. doi: 10.4161/cc.9.17.13122. Epub 2010 Sep 21.


The genetic makeup of most cells in the body is identical. Hence what makes one cell type different from another cell type in the body is largely determined by epigenetics, via differences in chromatin states. Changes in chromatin modifications can alter cell fate, causing cells to forget their cellular identity and take on different properties that may be detrimental to the overall organization of the body, including cancer. In metastasis, cancer cells proliferate, invade out of their tissue boundaries, enter the blood stream and colonize in a foreign tissue. The long intergenic noncoding RNA HOTAIR has been recently discovered to provide such a link between chromatin state, cell positional identity, and cancer metastasis.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Histones / metabolism
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Polycomb-Group Proteins
  • RNA, Untranslated / metabolism*
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism


  • Histones
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Polycomb-Group Proteins
  • RNA, Untranslated
  • Repressor Proteins