Background: Long non-coding RNAs compose an important level of epigenetic regulation in normal physiology and disease. Despite the plethora of publications of lncRNAs in human cancer, the landscape is still unclear.
Methods: Microarray analysis in 44 NSCLC paired specimens was followed by qPCR-based validation in 29 (technical) and 38 (independent) tissue pairs. Cross-validation of the selected targets was achieved in 850 NSCLC tumours from TCGA datasets.
Results: Twelve targets were successfully validated by qPCR (upregulated: FEZF1-AS1, LINC01214, LINC00673, PCAT6, NUTM2A-AS1, LINC01929; downregulated: PCAT19, FENDRR, SVIL-AS1, LANCL1-AS1, ADAMTS9-AS2 and LINC00968). All of them were successfully cross validated in the TCGA datasets. Abnormal DNA methylation was observed in the promoters of FENDRR, FEZF1-AS1 and SVIL-AS1. FEZF1-AS1 and LINC01929 were associated with survival in the TCGA set.
Conclusions: Our study provides through multiple levels of internal and external validation, a comprehensive list of dysregulated lncRNAs in NSCLC. We therefore envisage this dataset to serve as an important source for the lung cancer research community assisting future investigations on the involvement of lncRNAs in the pathogenesis of the disease and providing novel biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic stratification.