During the last decade, high-throughput sequencing efforts in the fields of transcriptomics and epigenomics have shed light on the noncoding part of the transcriptome and its potential role in human disease. Regulatory noncoding RNAs are broadly divided into short and long noncoding transcripts. The latter, also known as lncRNAs, are defined as transcripts longer than 200 nucleotides with low or no protein-coding potential. LncRNAs form a diverse group of transcripts that regulate vital cellular functions through interactions with proteins, chromatin, and even RNA itself. Notably, an important regulatory aspect of these RNA species is their association with the epigenetic machinery and the recruitment of its regulatory apparatus to specific loci, resulting in DNA methylation and/or post-translational modifications of histones. Such epigenetic modifications play a pivotal role in maintaining the active or inactive transcriptional state of chromatin and are crucial regulators of normal cellular development and tissue-specific gene expression. Evidently, aberrant expression of lncRNAs that interact with epigenetic modifiers can cause severe epigenetic disruption and is thus is closely associated with altered gene function, cellular dysregulation, and malignant transformation. Here, we survey the latest breakthroughs concerning the role of lncRNAs interacting with the epigenetic machinery in various forms of cancer.
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