Epigenetics is a process that involves the regulation of gene expression without altering the sequence of DNA. Numerous studies have documented that epigenetic mechanisms play a critical role in cell growth, differentiation, and cancer over the past decade. The well-known epigenetic modifications are either on DNA or at the histone proteins. Although several studies have focused on regulating gene expression by non-coding RNAs, the current understanding of their biological functions in various human diseases, particularly in cancers, is inadequate. Only about two percent of DNA is involved in coding the protein-coding genes, and leaving the rest 98 percent is non-coding and the scientific community regarded as junk or noise with no known purpose. Most non-coding RNAs are derived from such junk DNA and are known to be involved in various signaling pathways involving cancer initiation, progression, and the development of therapy resistance in many human cancer types. Recent studies have suggested that non-coding RNAs, especially microRNAs, piwi-interactingRNAs, and long non-coding RNAs, play a significant role in controlling epigenetic mechanism(s), indicating the potential effect of epigenetic modulation of non-coding RNAs on cancer progression. In this review article, we briefly presented epigenetic marks' characteristics, crosstalk between epigenetic modifications and microRNAs, piwi-interactingRNAs, and long non-coding RNAs to uncover the effect on the phenotype of pediatric cancers. Further, current knowledge on understanding the RNA epigenetics will help design novel therapeutics that target epigenetic regulatory networks to benefit cancer patients in the clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-241
Number of pages15
JournalSeminars in Cancer Biology
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Cancer
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetics
  • Long-non coding RNAs
  • microRNAs
  • piwiRNAs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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