Deciphering the roles of lncRNAs in breast development and disease

John Lalith Charles Richard and Pieter Johan Adam Eichhorn _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:20179-20212. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24591

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John Lalith Charles Richard1,2,4 and Pieter Johan Adam Eichhorn1,2,3

1Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, National University of Singapore, 117599, Singapore

2Department of Pharmacology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 117597, Singapore

3School of Pharmacy, Curtin University, Perth, 6845, Australia

4Current Address: Genome Institute of Singapore, Agency for Science Technology and Research, 138672, Singapore

Correspondence to:

Pieter Johan Adam Eichhorn, email: [email protected]

Keywords: long non-coding RNA; breast cancer; mammary gland development; XIST; HOTAIR

Received: July 29, 2017     Accepted: February 21, 2018     Epub: February 28, 2018     Published: April 13, 2018


Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in women. It is therefore important to understand the mechanisms underlying breast cancer development as well as raises the need for enhanced, non-invasive strategies for novel prognostic and diagnostic methods. The emergence of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) as potential key players in neoplastic disease has received considerable attention over the past few years. This relatively new class of molecular regulators has been shown from ongoing research to act as critical players for key biological processes. Deregulated expression levels of lncRNAs have been observed in a number of cancers including breast cancer. Furthermore, lncRNAs have been linked to breast cancer initiation, progression, metastases and to limit sensitivity to certain targeted therapeutics. In this review we provide an update on the lncRNAs associated with breast cancer and mammary gland development and illustrate the versatility of such lncRNAs in gene control, differentiation and development both in normal physiological conditions and in diseased states. We also highlight the therapeutic and diagnostic potential of lncRNAs in cancer.

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