The tumor microenvironment is an important concept that defines cancer development not only through tumor cells themselves but also the surrounding cellular and non-cellular components, including stromal cells, blood vessels, infiltrating inflammatory cells, cancer stem cells (CSC), cytokines, and growth factors, which act in concert to promote tumor cell survival and metastasis. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common and aggressive human malignancies worldwide. Poor prognosis is largely attributable to the high rate of tumor metastasis, highlighting the importance of identifying patients at risk in advance and developing novel therapeutic targets to facilitate effective intervention. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA) are a class of non-protein coding transcripts longer than 200 nucleotides frequently dysregulated in various cancer types, which have multiple functions in widespread biological processes, including proliferation, apoptosis, metastasis, and metabolism. lncRNAs are involved in regulation of the tumor microenvironment and reciprocal signaling between cancer cells. Targeting of components of the tumor microenvironment or cancer cells has become a considerable focus of therapeutic research and establishing the effects of different lncRNAs on this network should aid in the development of effective treatment strategies. The current review provides a summary of the essential properties and functional roles of known lncRNAs associated with the tumor microenvironment in HCC.
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