The Open UniversitySkip to content

The non-coding transcriptome as a dynamic regulator of cancer metastasis.

Crea, Francesco; Clermont, Pier Luc; Parolia, Abhijit; Wang, Yuzhuo and Helgason, Cheryl D. (2014). The non-coding transcriptome as a dynamic regulator of cancer metastasis. Cancer Metastasis Reviews, 33(1) pp. 1–16.

Full text available as:
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (1MB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Since the discovery of microRNAs, non-coding RNAs (NC-RNAs) have increasingly attracted the attention of cancer investigators. Two classes of NC-RNAs are emerging as putative metastasis-related genes: long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs). LncRNAs orchestrate metastatic progression through several mechanisms, including the interaction with epigenetic effectors, splicing control and generation of microRNA-like molecules. In contrast, snoRNAs have been long considered "housekeeping" genes with no relevant function in cancer. However, recent evidence challenges this assumption, indicating that some snoRNAs are deregulated in cancer cells and may play a specific role in metastasis. Interestingly, snoRNAs and lncRNAs share several mechanisms of action, and might synergize with protein-coding genes to generate a specific cellular phenotype. This evidence suggests that the current paradigm of metastatic progression is incomplete. We propose that NC-RNAs are organized in complex interactive networks which orchestrate cellular phenotypic plasticity. Since plasticity is critical for cancer cell metastasis, we suggest that a molecular interactome composed by both NC-RNAs and proteins orchestrates cancer metastasis. Interestingly, expression of lncRNAs and snoRNAs can be detected in biological fluids, making them potentially useful biomarkers. NC-RNA expression profiles in human neoplasms have been associated with patients' prognosis. SnoRNA and lncRNA silencing in pre-clinical models leads to cancer cell death and/or metastasis prevention, suggesting they can be investigated as novel therapeutic targets. Based on the literature to date, we critically discuss how the NC-RNA interactome can be explored and manipulated to generate more effective diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic strategies for metastatic neoplasms.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2013 The Authors
ISSN: 1573-7233
Keywords: long non-coding RNAs; small nucleolar RNAs; non-coding interactome; metastasis; epigenetics
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Life, Health and Chemical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Research Group: Cancer Research Group
Item ID: 45799
Depositing User: Francesco Crea
Date Deposited: 16 May 2016 08:20
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2020 09:55
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU