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Targeting long non-coding RNAs in cancer therapies

Book - Dissertation

The class of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) is a relatively recently discovered heterogeneous group of RNA molecules with an arbitrarily defined length of more than 200 nucleotides that are involved in multiple physiologic processes. Similar to mRNA, most of them are transcribed by RNA Polymerase II, spliced, capped and polyadenylated. In contrast with mRNA, their expression levels are much lower but show very tissue and cell type-specific expression patterns. lncRNAs have diverse mechanisms to regulate gene expression either through chromatin modification, transcriptional or post-transcriptional processing. They can exert their functions by acting as scaffolds, decoys or signals, and can address their target in cis and trans and through antisense interfering.The number of annotated lncRNAs is increasing fast, and many lncRNAs have been demonstrated to be dysregulated in diseases, including cancer. They can act either as tumor suppressors or oncogenes, and their aberrant expression can contribute to the hallmarks of cancer. Despite the rising evidence of the importance of lncRNA-based approaches in the clinic, great additional research is required to standardly implement lncRNAs in diagnostics and treatments. The aim of this Ph.D. is to contribute to this rapidly expanding field, and to search for putative therapeutic targets for cancer treatment.
Publication year:2021