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Oncogene. 2012 Oct 25;31(43):4577-87. doi: 10.1038/onc.2011.621. Epub 2012 Jan 23.

Long non-coding RNAs and cancer: a new frontier of translational research?

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Experimental Oncology, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, IRCSS-National Cancer Institute, Aviano, PN, Italy.


Tiling array and novel sequencing technologies have made available the transcription profile of the entire human genome. However, the extent of transcription and the function of genetic elements that occur outside of protein-coding genes, particularly those involved in disease, are still a matter of debate. In this review, we focus on long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) that are involved in cancer. We define lncRNAs and present a cancer-oriented list of lncRNAs, list some tools (for example, public databases) that classify lncRNAs or that scan genome spans of interest to find whether known lncRNAs reside there, and describe some of the functions of lncRNAs and the possible genetic mechanisms that underlie lncRNA expression changes in cancer, as well as current and potential future applications of lncRNA research in the treatment of cancer.

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