Long Noncoding RNAs as New Architects in Cancer Epigenetics, Prognostic Biomarkers, and Potential Therapeutic Targets

Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:320214. doi: 10.1155/2015/320214. Epub 2015 Sep 13.

Abstract

Recent advances in genome-wide analysis have revealed that 66% of the genome is actively transcribed into noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) while less than 2% of the sequences encode proteins. Among ncRNAs, high-resolution microarray and massively parallel sequencing technologies have identified long ncRNAs (>200 nucleotides) that lack coding protein function. LncRNAs abundance, nuclear location, and diversity allow them to create in association with protein interactome, a complex regulatory network orchestrating cellular phenotypic plasticity via modulation of all levels of protein-coding gene expression. Whereas lncRNAs biological functions and mechanisms of action are still not fully understood, accumulating data suggest that lncRNAs deregulation is pivotal in cancer initiation and progression and metastatic spread through various mechanisms, including epigenetic effectors, alternative splicing, and microRNA-like molecules. Mounting data suggest that several lncRNAs expression profiles in malignant tumors are associated with prognosis and they can be detected in biological fluids. In this review, we will briefly discuss characteristics and functions of lncRNAs, their role in carcinogenesis, and their potential usefulness as diagnosis and prognosis biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / biosynthesis*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Neoplasm / biosynthesis*

Substances

  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • RNA, Neoplasm