Long noncoding RNAs: emerging players in thyroid cancer pathogenesis

    1. Ali S Alzahrani1
    1. 1Division of Molecular Endocrinology, Department of Molecular Oncology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    2. 2Department of Genetics, Dr ALM PG Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Madras, Taramani, Chennai, India
    1. Correspondence should be addressed to A K Murugan: akmurugan{at}gmail.com


    Thyroid cancer continues to be the most common malignancy of endocrine glands. The incidence of thyroid cancer has risen significantly over the past 4 decades and has emerged as a major health issue. In recent years, significant progress has been achieved in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of thyroid carcinogenesis, resulting in significant diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic implications; yet, it has not reached a satisfactory level. Identifying novel molecular therapeutic targets and molecules for diagnosis and prognosis is expected to advance the overall management of this common malignancy. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are implicated in the regulation of various key cellular genes involved in cell differentiation, proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis, migration and invasion mainly through modulation of gene expression. Recent studies have established that lncRNAs are deregulated in thyroid cancer. In this review, we discuss extensively the tumor-suppressive (for example, LINC00271, MEG3, NAMA, PTCSC1/2/3, etc.) and oncogenic (for example, ANRIL, FAL1, H19, PVT1, etc.) roles of various lncRNAs and their possible disease associations implicated in thyroid carcinogenesis. We briefly summarize the strategies and mechanisms of lncRNA-targeting agents. We also describe the potential role of lncRNAs as prospective novel therapeutic targets, and diagnostic and prognostic markers in thyroid cancer.

    • Received 27 October 2017
    • Accepted 16 November 2017
    • Made available online as an Accepted Preprint 16 November 2017
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