Long non-coding RNA in pancreatic adenocarcinoma and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors

Authors Dimitrios Moschovis, Maria Gazouli, Maria Tzouvala, Antonios Vezakis, George Karamanolis.


Interest in non-coding regions of DNA has been increasing since the mapping of the human genome revealed that human DNA contains far fewer genes encoding proteins than previously expected. However, analysis of the derivatives of DNA transcription (transcriptomics) revealed that the majority of the genetic material is transcribed into non-coding RNA (ncRNA), indicating that these molecules probably provide the functional diversity and complexity of the physiology of the human body that cannot be attributed to the proteins. Of these ncRNA, long ncRNA (lncRNA) have a length greater than 200 nucleotides and share many common components with the coding messenger RNA (mRNA): THey are transcribed by RNA polymerase II, comprised of multiple exons and subjected to normal RNA splicing giving RNA products of several kilobases. Scientific data reveal the regulatory role of lncRNA in the control of gene expression during cell development and homeostasis. However, to date, very few lncRNAs have been characterized in depth, and lncRNAs are thought to have a wide range of functions in cellular and developmental processes. These molecules will have the possibility to be used as biomarkers and contribute to the development of targeted therapies. Concerning pancreatic cancer, there are limited data in the literature that correlate the growth of these tumors with deregulation of various lncRNA. We herein review the literature regarding the role of lncRNA as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker and possible therapeutic target in the neoplasms of the pancreas, particularly pancreatic adenocarcinoma and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

Keywords Long non-coding RNA, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, pancreatic tumors

Ann Gastroenterol 2017; 30 (6): 622-628

Review Articles