Protein-coding genes account for only a small part of the human genome; in fact, the vast majority of transcripts are comprised of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) including long ncRNAs (lncRNAs) and small ncRNAs, microRNAs (miRs). Accumulating evidence indicates that ncRNAs could play critical roles in regulating many cellular processes which are often implicated in health and disease. For example, ncRNAs are aberrantly expressed in cancers, heart diseases, and many other diseases. LncRNAs and miRs are therefore novel and promising targets to be developed into biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis as well as treatment options. The interaction between lncRNAs and miRs as well as its pathophysiological significance have recently been reported. Mechanistically, it is believed that lncRNAs exert "sponge-like" effects on various miRs, which subsequently inhibits miR-mediated functions. This crosstalk between two types of ncRNAs frequently contributes to the pathogenesis of the disease. In this review, we provide a summary of the recent studies highlighting the interaction between these ncRNAs and the effects of this interaction on disease pathogenesis and regulation.
Keywords: cancer; chromatin; epigenetic regulation; gene regulation; heart disease; non-coding RNAs.