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Br J Pharmacol. 2019 Aug 18. doi: 10.1111/bph.14836. [Epub ahead of print]

Non-coding RNAs in bone remodelling and bone metastasis: Mechanisms of action and translational relevance.

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Department of Oncology and Metabolism, Medical School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
Molecular Skeletal Biology Laboratory, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
Institute of Molecular Musculoskeletal Research, Faculty of Medicine, LMU Munich, Planegg-Martinsried, Germany.
INSERM, Research Unit UMR_S1033, LyOS, Faculty of Medicine Lyon-Est, University of Lyon 1, Lyon, France.


Bone metastases are frequent complications in patients with advanced cancer, which can be fatal or may rapidly impede the quality of life of patients. Current treatments for patients with bone metastases are palliative. Therefore, a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that precede the overt development of skeletal lesions could lead to better therapeutic interventions. In this review, we present evidence that non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) such as long ncRNAs, microRNAs, and circular RNAs are emerging as master regulators of bone metastasis formation. We highlight potential opportunities for the therapeutic targeting of ncRNAs. Furthermore, we discuss the possibility that ncRNAs may be used as biomarkers in the context of bone metastases, which might provide insight for improving the response to current bone-targeting therapies.


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