Non-coding RNAs in lung cancer
Biagio Ricciuti1, Carmen Mecca2, Lucio Crinò1, Sara Baglivo1, Matteo Cenci1 and Giulio Metro1
1 Medical Oncology, Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital, Azienda Ospedaliera di Perugia, Perugia, Italy
2 University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy
Biagio Ricciuti, email:
Keywords: non-coding RNAs, lung cancer, targeted therapy, biomarkers
Received: October 15, 2014 Accepted: November 15, 2014 Published: November 15, 2014
The discovery that protein-coding genes represent less than 2% of all human genome, and the evidence that more than 90% of it is actively transcribed, changed the classical point of view of the central dogma of molecular biology, which was always based on the assumption that RNA functions mainly as an intermediate bridge between DNA sequences and protein synthesis machinery. Accumulating data indicates that non-coding RNAs are involved in different physiological processes, providing for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. They are important regulators of gene expression, cellular differentiation, proliferation, migration, apoptosis, and stem cell maintenance. Alterations and disruptions of their expression or activity have increasingly been associated with pathological changes of cancer cells, this evidence and the prospect of using these molecules as diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets, make currently non-coding RNAs among the most relevant molecules in cancer research. In this paper we will provide an overview of non-coding RNA function and disruption in lung cancer biology, also focusing on their potential as diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers.