Epigenetic regulation of long non-coding RNAs in gastric cancer

Zhixia Zhou, Zhijuan Lin, Xin Pang, Muhammad Akram Tariq, Xiang Ao, Peifeng Li and Jianxun Wang _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:19443-19458. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23821

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Zhixia Zhou1, Zhijuan Lin1, Xin Pang1, Muhammad Akram Tariq1, Xiang Ao1, Peifeng Li1 and Jianxun Wang1

1Center for Tumor Molecular Biology, Institute for Translational Medicine, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266021, China

Correspondence to:

Jianxun Wang, email: [email protected]

Peifeng Li, email: [email protected]

Keywords: lncRNAs; gastric cancer; epigenetic regulation; DNA methylation; histone modification

Received: April 28, 2017     Accepted: October 25, 2017     Epub: December 16, 2017     Published: April 10, 2018


Gastric cancer is one of the most common cancers and is the second leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Therefore, it is urgent to explore new molecular biomarkers for early diagnosis, early treatment and prognosis for gastric cancer patients. Recently, increasing evidence has shown that epigenetic changes, such as aberrant DNA methylation, histone modifications, and noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) expression, play substantial roles in the development and progression of malignancies. Among these changes, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), a novel class of ncRNAs, are emerging as highly versatile actors in a variety of cellular processes by regulating gene expression at the epigenetic level as well as at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Hundreds of lncRNAs become dysregulated in the various pathological processes of gastric cancer, and multiple lncRNAs have been reported to function as tumor-suppressors or oncogenes, although the underlying mechanisms are still under investigation. Here, we provide an overview of the epigenetic regulation of chromatin and the molecular functions of lncRNAs; we focus on lncRNA-mediated epigenetic regulation of cancer-related gene expression in gastric cancer, as well as discuss the clinical implications of lncRNAs on epigenetic-related cancer treatments, which may contribute helpful approaches for the development of new potential strategies for future diagnosis and therapeutic intervention in human cancers.

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