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Cancer Discov. 2011 Oct;1(5):391-407. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-11-0209.

The emergence of lncRNAs in cancer biology.

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  • 1Michigan Center for Translational Pathology, Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


The discovery of numerous noncoding RNA (ncRNA) transcripts in species from yeast to mammals has dramatically altered our understanding of cell biology, especially the biology of diseases such as cancer. In humans, the identification of abundant long ncRNA (lncRNA) >200 bp has catalyzed their characterization as critical components of cancer biology. Recently, roles for lncRNAs as drivers of tumor suppressive and oncogenic functions have appeared in prevalent cancer types, such as breast and prostate cancer. In this review, we highlight the emerging impact of ncRNAs in cancer research, with a particular focus on the mechanisms and functions of lncRNAs.


cancer; epigenetics; lncRNA; long noncoding RNA

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