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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(1), 1395-1405; doi:10.3390/ijms16011395

Long Non-Coding RNAs in Cancer and Development: Where Do We Go from Here?

1
Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77054, USA
2
Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg 69120, Germany
3
Department of Genomic Medicine, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77054, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Martin Pichler
Received: 16 December 2014 / Accepted: 30 December 2014 / Published: 8 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Collection Regulation by Non-Coding RNAs)
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Abstract

Recent genome-wide expression profiling studies have uncovered a huge amount of novel, long non-protein-coding RNA transcripts (lncRNA). In general, these transcripts possess a low, but tissue-specific expression, and their nucleotide sequences are often poorly conserved. However, several studies showed that lncRNAs can have important roles for normal tissue development and regulate cellular pluripotency as well as differentiation. Moreover, lncRNAs are implicated in the control of multiple molecular pathways leading to gene expression changes and thus, ultimately modulate cell proliferation, migration and apoptosis. Consequently, deregulation of lncRNA expression contributes to carcinogenesis and is associated with human diseases, e.g., neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease. Here, we will focus on some major challenges of lncRNA research, especially loss-of-function studies. We will delineate strategies for lncRNA gene targeting in vivo, and we will briefly discuss important consideration and pitfalls when investigating lncRNA functions in knockout animal models. Finally, we will highlight future opportunities for lncRNAs research by applying the concept of cross-species comparison, which might contribute to novel disease biomarker discovery and might identify lncRNAs as potential therapeutic targets. View Full-Text
Keywords: functional genomics; genetically engineered mouse models (GEMM); long intergenic RNA (lincRNA); metastasis; metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1); HOX transcript antisense RNA (HOTAIR) functional genomics; genetically engineered mouse models (GEMM); long intergenic RNA (lincRNA); metastasis; metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1); HOX transcript antisense RNA (HOTAIR)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Haemmerle, M.; Gutschner, T. Long Non-Coding RNAs in Cancer and Development: Where Do We Go from Here? Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 1395-1405.

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