Molecular mechanisms of long noncoding RNAs and their role in disease pathogenesis

Guoku Hu, Fang Niu, Bree A. Humburg, Ke Liao, Venkata Sunil Bendi, Shannon Callen, Howard S. Fox and Shilpa Buch _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:18648-18663. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24307

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Guoku Hu1, Fang Niu1, Bree A. Humburg1, Ke Liao1, Sunil Bendi1, Shannon Callen1, Howard S. Fox1 and Shilpa Buch1

1Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA

Correspondence to:

Shilpa Buch, email: [email protected]

Guoku Hu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: long non-coding RNA; CNS disorder; cancer; therapy

Received: December 07, 2017     Accepted: January 13, 2018     Published: April 06, 2018


LncRNAs are long non-coding regulatory RNAs that are longer than 200 nucleotides. One of the major functions of lncRNAs is the regulation of specific gene expression at multiple steps including, recruitment and expression of basal transcription machinery, post-transcriptional modifications and epigenetics [1]. Emerging evidence suggests that lncRNAs also play a critical role in maintaining tissue homeostasis during physiological and pathological conditions, lipid homeostasis, as well as epithelial and smooth muscle cell homeostasis, a topic that has been elegantly reviewed [25]. While aberrant expression of lncRNAs has been implicated in several disease conditions, there is paucity of information about their contribution to the etiology of diseases [6]. Several studies have compared the expression of lncRNAs under normal and cancerous conditions and found differential expression of several lncRNAs, suggesting thereby an involvement of lncRNAs in disease processes [7, 8]. Furthermore, the ability of lncRNAs to influence epigenetic changes also underlies their role in disease pathogenesis since epigenetic regulation is known to play a critical role in many human diseases [1]. LncRNAs thus are not only involved in homeostatic functioning but also play a vital role in the progression of many diseases, thereby underscoring their potential as novel therapeutic targets for the alleviation of a variety of human disease conditions.

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