Mini Review ARTICLE

Front. Genet., 24 October 2012 |

Long non-coding RNAs in cancer progression

  • Radioisotope Center, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Recent large-scale transcriptome analyses have revealed that transcription is spread throughout the mammalian genomes, yielding large numbers of transcripts, including long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) with little or no protein-coding capacity. Dozens of lncRNAs have been identified as biologically significant. In many cases, lncRNAs act as key molecules in the regulation of processes such as chromatin remodeling, transcription, and post-transcriptional processing. Several lncRNAs (e.g., MALAT1, HOTAIR, and ANRIL) are associated with human diseases, including cancer. Those lncRNAs associated with cancer are often aberrantly expressed. Although the underlying molecular mechanisms by which lncRNAs regulate cancer development are unclear, recent studies have revealed that such aberrant expression of lncRNAs affects the progression of cancers. In this review, we highlight recent findings regarding the roles of lncRNAs in cancer biology.

Keywords: large non-coding RNA, cancer, disease, MALAT1, HOTAIR, ANRIL

Citation: Tano K and Akimitsu N (2012) Long non-coding RNAs in cancer progression. Front. Gene. 3:219. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2012.00219

Received: 03 August 2012; Paper pending published: 24 August 2012;
Accepted: 01 October 2012; Published online: 24 October 2012.

Edited by:

Peng Jin, Emory University School of Medicine, USA

Reviewed by:

Francesca Fanini, Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Italy
Zhaohui Wang, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, USA

Copyright: © 2012 Tano and Akimitsu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: Nobuyoshi Akimitsu, Radioisotope Center, The University of Tokyo, 2-11-16 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan. e-mail: