Molecular mechanisms of long noncoding RNAs and their role in disease pathogenesis

Guoku Hu, Fang Niu, Bree A. Humburg, Ke Liao, Sunil Bendi, Shannon Callen, Howard S. Fox, Shilpa Buch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


LncRNAs are long non-coding regulatory RNAs that are longer than 200 nucleotides. One of the major functions of lncRNAs is the regulation of specific gene expression at multiple steps including, recruitment and expression of basal transcription machinery, post-transcriptional modifications and epigenetics [1]. Emerging evidence suggests that lncRNAs also play a critical role in maintaining tissue homeostasis during physiological and pathological conditions, lipid homeostasis, as well as epithelial and smooth muscle cell homeostasis, a topic that has been elegantly reviewed [2-5]. While aberrant expression of lncRNAs has been implicated in several disease conditions, there is paucity of information about their contribution to the etiology of diseases [6]. Several studies have compared the expression of lncRNAs under normal and cancerous conditions and found differential expression of several lncRNAs, suggesting thereby an involvement of lncRNAs in disease processes [7, 8]. Furthermore, the ability of lncRNAs to influence epigenetic changes also underlies their role in disease pathogenesis since epigenetic regulation is known to play a critical role in many human diseases [1]. LncRNAs thus are not only involved in homeostatic functioning but also play a vital role in the progression of many diseases, thereby underscoring their potential as novel therapeutic targets for the alleviation of a variety of human disease conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18648-18663
Number of pages16
Issue number26
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • CNS disorder
  • Cancer
  • Long non-coding RNA
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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