lncRNAs in Human Cancers
Curator: Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP
Characterizing lncRNAs in Human Cancers
Changes in long non-coding RNA expression levels are highly indicative of specific cancer types, perhaps even more so than protein-coding genes, according to a new study published today in Cancer Cell.
Scientists led by first authors Xiaohui Yan, Zhongyi Hu, and Yi Feng and senior authors Chi Dan and Lin Zhang, all from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, characterized alterations in long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in 5,037 tumor specimens comprising 13 cancer types from The Cancer Genome Atlas. They looked at differential changes to lncRNAs at the transcriptional, genomic, and epigenomic level to identify cancer-driving lncRNAs and predict their function.
The study found 2,316 lncRNAs altered in all 13 cancer types. As part of a more detailed analysis, the study looked at disregulation of lncRNA expression in seven cancers. Expression could be both up-regulated and down-regulated compared to normal cells, with, on average, 15 percent being up-regulated and 11 percent being down-regulated in the cancers.