Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a class of newly identified non-coding RNA molecules that are emerging as key regulators of tumor initiation and development. Colorectal cancer (CRC) remains a major health problem worldwide, and there remains a need to further refine the current screening approaches as well as provide tailored diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Multiple dysregulated lncRNAs participate in tumorigenesis through a variety of molecular mechanisms, and various regulatory factors frequently contribute to the aberrant expression of lncRNAs in CRC, thereby allowing malignant transformation. Additionally, the association of dysregulated lncRNAs with specific developmental stages and clinical outcomes indicates their potential as strong diagnostic and prognostic predictors as well as therapeutic targets. Here the authors provide a brief overview of the known functions of CRC-associated lncRNAs, describe some potential molecular mechanisms that underlie changes in lncRNA expression in CRC, and attempt to uncover their clinical and therapeutic potential.
- Xu MD, Qi P, Du X. (2014) Long non-coding RNAs in colorectal cancer: implications for pathogenesis and clinical application. Mod Pathol [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]