Despite growing appreciation of the importance of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in normal physiology and disease, our knowledge of cancer-related lncRNAs remains limited. By repurposing microarray probes, researchers at Tongji University, China constructed expression profiles of 10,207 lncRNA genes in approximately 1,300 tumors over four different cancer types. Through integrative analysis of the lncRNA expression profiles with clinical outcome and somatic copy-number alterations, they identified lncRNAs that are associated with cancer subtypes and clinical prognosis and predicted those that are potential drivers of cancer progression. They validated their predictions by experimentally confirming prostate cancer cell growth dependence on two newly identified lncRNAs. This analysis provides a resource of clinically relevant lncRNAs for the development of lncRNA biomarkers and the identification of lncRNA therapeutic targets. It also demonstrates the power of integrating publically available genomic data sets and clinical information for discovering disease-associated lncRNAs.
- Du Z, Fei T, Verhaak RG, Su Z, Zhang Y, Brown M, Chen Y, Liu XS. (2013) Integrative genomic analyses reveal clinically relevant long noncoding RNAs in human cancer. Nat Struct Mol Biol [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]