Long non-coding RNAs in stem cells and cancer

World J Clin Oncol. 2014 May 10;5(2):134-41. doi: 10.5306/wjco.v5.i2.134.


An overwhelming majority of the transcribed genome encodes for non-coding RNA (ncRNA) sequences. Deep sequencing of the transcriptome has uncovered tens of thousands of long ncRNA (lncRNA) sequences. However, little is known regarding the possible functions for a vast majority of these sequences. Among those lncRNAs whose function has been experimentally validated, most serve as regulators of gene expression. LncRNAs have been found to be critical to development and homeostasis and they have been implicated in several pathologies including cancer. Here, we examine the functions and underlying mechanisms of lncRNAs in stem cells and in cancer biology, areas linked by the actions of lncRNAs.

Keywords: Cancer stem cell; Long non-coding RNA; Stem cell.

Publication types

  • Review