Long non-coding RNAs in gastric cancer: mechanisms and potential applications

Ismael Riquelme, Carmen Ili, Juan Carlos Roa and Priscilla Brebi _

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Ismael Riquelme1,2, Carmen Ili1,2, Juan Carlos Roa3 and Priscilla Brebi1,2

1 Molecular Pathology Laboratory, Department of Pathology, Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile

2 Scientific and Technological Bioresource Nucleus (BIOREN), Universidad de La Frontera, Casilla, Temuco, Chile

3 Department of Pathology, UC Centre for Investigational Oncology (CITO), Advanced Centre for Chronic Diseases (ACCDiS), Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

Correspondence to:

Priscilla Brebi, email:

Keywords: long non-coding RNAs, gastric cancer, biomarkers

Received: January 11, 2016 Accepted: April 26, 2016 Published: May 16, 2016


Gastric cancer is the third leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Unfortunately, most gastric cancer cases are diagnosed in an advanced, non-curable stage with a limited response to chemotherapy. Recent findings in gastric cancer-causing gene expression mechanisms, however, hold promise for the development of more effective diagnostic and treatment strategies. A novel mechanism for gene expression control mediated by long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) has been described, which have emerged as pivotal regulatory components orchestrating extensive cell processes and connections within eukaryotic cells. LncRNA-based mechanisms alter cell fates during development, and their deregulation underscores many human disorders, including gastric cancer. Recent studies have reported that several lncRNAs are aberrantly expressed and linked to the onset and progression of this malignancy. These lncRNAs have gained value for such clinical purposes as novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets; yet despite this potential, many issues remain in this rapidly growing field. This review summarizes the classification and role of lncRNAs, and provides an updated overview of the feasibility of lncRNAs as diagnostic and prognostic tools in clinical samples and as potential therapeutic targets in GC patients.

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