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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

The functional role of long non-coding RNA in human carcinomas

Ewan A Gibb1*, Carolyn J Brown12 and Wan L Lam13

Author Affiliations

1 British Columbia Cancer Agency Research Centre, Vancouver, Canada

2 Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

3 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

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Molecular Cancer 2011, 10:38  doi:10.1186/1476-4598-10-38

Published: 13 April 2011


Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as new players in the cancer paradigm demonstrating potential roles in both oncogenic and tumor suppressive pathways. These novel genes are frequently aberrantly expressed in a variety of human cancers, however the biological functions of the vast majority remain unknown. Recently, evidence has begun to accumulate describing the molecular mechanisms by which these RNA species function, providing insight into the functional roles they may play in tumorigenesis. In this review, we highlight the emerging functional role of lncRNAs in human cancer.