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01.12.2018 | Review | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Molecular Cancer 1/2018

Long non-coding RNA implicated in the invasion and metastasis of head and neck cancer: possible function and mechanisms

Molecular Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2018
Xiaobo Luo, Yan Qiu, Yuchen Jiang, Fangman Chen, Lu Jiang, Yu Zhou, Hongxia Dan, Xin Zeng, Yu L. Lei, Qianming Chen


Head and neck cancer (HNC) ranks as the 6th most common malignancy across the world. Metastasis is a hallmark of cancer, primarily contributing to the relapse and poor prognosis of HNC. Recently, long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), previously considered as non-functional, are increasingly appreciated by scholars to play crucial roles in mediating HNC metastasis. LncRNAs, which are located in the nucleus and cytoplasm, mainly exert their function via epigenetic modification, transcriptional control and translational regulation. As several lncRNAs are presently demonstrated to participate in HNC metastasis, we make a summary of the functions and mechanisms regarding these lncRNAs. As shown in the literature, most lncRNAs appear to promote the metastasis of HNC. Hence, we primarily discuss the lncRNAs involved in enhancing metastasis. Additionally, more studies are needed to understand those lncRNAs without clear mechanisms. Furthermore, we introduced the upstream regulator for the aberrant expression of lncRNAs in HNC. Finally, we concisely addressed future research prospects of lncRNAs, particularly the interplay between lncRNAs and tumor immunity as well as lncRNA-targeted therapeutic techniques, and we introduced clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Display as a possibly transformative tool to study lncRNAs. Although lncRNA research is still in the initial stage, it holds great promise to be applied as a prognosticator of HNC and a therapeutic target to inhibit HNC metastasis, which could significantly enhance the outcome of HNC patients.
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