Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) refer to a group of RNAs that are usually more than 200 nucleotides and are not involved in protein generation. Instead, lncRNAs are involved in different regulatory processes, such as regulation of gene expression. Different lncRNAs exist throughout the genome. LncRNAs are also known for their roles in different human diseases such as cancer. HOTAIR is an lncRNA that plays a role as an oncogenic molecule in different cancer cells, such as breast, gastric, colorectal, and cervical cancer cells. Therefore, HOTAIR expression level is a potential biomarker for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in several cancers. This RNA takes part in epigenetic regulation of genes and plays an important role in different cellular pathways by interacting with Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2). In this review, we describe the molecular function and regulation of HOTAIR and its role in different types of cancers.
Keywords: HOTAIR; cancer; epigenetic; long non-coding RNA (lncRNA).