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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2017;44(3):948-966. doi: 10.1159/000485395. Epub 2017 Nov 27.

Long Non-Coding RNAs: the New Horizon of Gene Regulation in Ovarian Cancer.

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Key Laboratory of Agricultural Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, Education Ministry of China, College of Animal Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China.
Centre for Molecular Medicine and Biobanking, University of Malta, Msida, Malta.
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, the University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.


Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), a class of non-coding transcripts, have recently been emerging with heterogeneous molecular actions, adding a new layer of complexity to gene-regulation networks in tumorigenesis. LncRNAs are considered important factors in several ovarian cancer histotypes, although few have been identified and characterized. Owing to their complexity and the lack of adapted molecular technology, the roles of most lncRNAs remain mysterious. Some lncRNAs have been reported to play functional roles in ovarian cancer and can be used as classifiers for personalized medicine. The intrinsic features of lncRNAs govern their various molecular mechanisms and provide a wide range of platforms to design different therapeutic strategies for treating cancer at a particular stage. Although we are only beginning to understand the functions of lncRNAs and their interactions with microRNAs (miRNAs) and proteins, the expanding literature indicates that lncRNA-miRNA interactions could be useful biomarkers and therapeutic targets for ovarian cancer. In this review, we discuss the genetic variants of lncRNAs, heterogeneous mechanisms of actions of lncRNAs in ovarian cancer tumorigenesis, and drug resistance. We also highlight the recent developments in using lncRNAs as potential prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers. Lastly, we discuss potential approaches for linking lncRNAs to future gene therapies, and highlight future directions in the field of ovarian cancer research.


Biomarker; LncRNA; Ovarian cancer; Therapy

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