Cell cycle regulation by long non-coding RNAs

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2013 Dec;70(24):4785-94. doi: 10.1007/s00018-013-1423-0. Epub 2013 Jul 24.


The mammalian cell cycle is precisely controlled by cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) and related pathways such as the RB and p53 pathways. Recent research on long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) indicates that many lncRNAs are involved in the regulation of critical cell cycle regulators such as the cyclins, CDKs, CDK inhibitors, pRB, and p53. These lncRNAs act as epigenetic regulators, transcription factor regulators, post-transcription regulators, and protein scaffolds. These cell cycle-regulated lncRNAs mainly control cellular levels of cell cycle regulators via various mechanisms, and may provide diversity and reliability to the general cell cycle. Interestingly, several lncRNAs are induced by DNA damage and participate in cell cycle arrest or induction of apoptosis as DNA damage responses. Therefore, deregulations of these cell cycle regulatory lncRNAs may be involved in tumorigenesis, and they are novel candidate molecular targets for cancer therapy and diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / genetics*
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / physiology
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor Proteins / genetics
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor Proteins / metabolism
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases / genetics
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases / metabolism
  • Cyclins / genetics
  • Cyclins / metabolism
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / genetics*
  • Retinoblastoma Protein / genetics
  • Retinoblastoma Protein / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor Proteins
  • Cyclins
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • Retinoblastoma Protein
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases