Special Issue "Clinical Potential of Non-coding RNAs in Cancer"

A special issue of Non-Coding RNA (ISSN 2311-553X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Eleonora Leucci
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of RNA Cancer Biology, Department of Oncology, LKI, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
Interests: Functional characterization of lncRNAs; Cancer and RNA biology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The increasing awareness of inter- and intra-tumour heterogeneity calls for the introduction of new biomarkers for patient stratification and new therapeutic strategies to target the most aggressive tumour subpopulations. Cancer research has thus far been focusing on alterations in protein-coding genes. However, recent genome-wide studies suggest that disease-causing mutations and chromosome rearrangements often span transcribed areas of the genome lacking a known protein-coding gene. Often expressed in a tissue-, disease- and stage-specific manner, non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are attractive cancer-selective markers and therapeutic targets. 

Non-coding RNA is now accepting submissions for a Special Issue on the promises and pitfalls of implanting research on non-coding RNAs into the clinic.

Dr. Eleonora Leucci
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Non-Coding RNA is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Non-coding RNAs in cancer
  • Non-coding RNAs and mechanism tumourigenesis
  • Non-coding RNAs as biomarkers
  • Non-coding RNAs as therapeutic targets
  • Non-coding RNAs in therapy resistance

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
The Growth-Arrest-Specific (GAS)-5 Long Non-Coding RNA: A Fascinating lncRNA Widely Expressed in Cancers
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5030046 - 17 Sep 2019
Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) genes encode non-messenger RNAs that lack open reading frames (ORFs) longer than 300 nucleotides, lack evolutionary conservation in their shorter ORFs, and do not belong to any classical non-coding RNA category. LncRNA genes equal, or exceed in number, protein-coding [...] Read more.
Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) genes encode non-messenger RNAs that lack open reading frames (ORFs) longer than 300 nucleotides, lack evolutionary conservation in their shorter ORFs, and do not belong to any classical non-coding RNA category. LncRNA genes equal, or exceed in number, protein-coding genes in mammalian genomes. Most mammalian genomes harbor ~20,000 protein-coding genes that give rise to conventional messenger RNA (mRNA) transcripts. These coding genes exhibit sweeping evolutionary conservation in their ORFs. LncRNAs function via different mechanisms, including but not limited to: (1) serving as “enhancer” RNAs regulating nearby coding genes in cis; (2) functioning as scaffolds to create ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes; (3) serving as sponges for microRNAs; (4) acting as ribo-mimics of consensus transcription factor binding sites in genomic DNA; (5) hybridizing to other nucleic acids (mRNAs and genomic DNA); and, rarely, (6) as templates encoding small open reading frames (smORFs) that may encode short proteins. Any given lncRNA may have more than one of these functions. This review focuses on one fascinating case—the growth-arrest-specific (GAS)-5 gene, encoding a complicated repertoire of alternatively-spliced lncRNA isoforms. GAS5 is also a host gene of numerous small nucleolar (sno) RNAs, which are processed from its introns. Publications about this lncRNA date back over three decades, covering its role in cell proliferation, cell differentiation, and cancer. The GAS5 story has drawn in contributions from prominent molecular geneticists who attempted to define its tumor suppressor function in mechanistic terms. The evidence suggests that rodent Gas5 and human GAS5 functions may be different, despite the conserved multi-exonic architecture featuring intronic snoRNAs, and positional conservation on syntenic chromosomal regions indicating that the rodent Gas5 gene is the true ortholog of the GAS5 gene in man and other apes. There is no single answer to the molecular mechanism of GAS5 action. Our goal here is to summarize competing, not mutually exclusive, mechanistic explanations of GAS5 function that have compelling experimental support. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Potential of Non-coding RNAs in Cancer)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Functional lncRNA in light of evolution
Authors: Leonard Lipovich, Patty Thepsuwan and Anton Scott Goustin
Affiliation: School of Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, United State
* Correspondence: [email protected]

Title: ncRNAs in Haematoogy
Authors: Pierpaolo Piccaluga et al.
Affiliation: Dipartimento di Medicina Specialistica, Universita di Bologna, Bologna, Italy
* Correspondence: [email protected]

Title: Expression of lncRNA MALAT1 on a Cohort of CRC Patient Tissues, Different Stages and Metastatic Profile
Authors: Manish K. Tripathi
Affiliation: University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, United States
* Correspondence: [email protected]

Title: “microRNAs de resistance”: Players in the Resistance to Anti-Neoplastic Therapies
Authors: Buzzetti Marta, Nazila Safari and Gianpiero di Leva
Affiliation: School of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Salford, Salford, United Kingdom
* Correspondence: [email protected]

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