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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Non-protein coding RNA biomarkers and differential expression in cancers: a review

Massimo Mallardo1*, Palmiro Poltronieri2 and Oscar Fernando D'Urso3

Author Affiliations

1 University of Napoli Federico II, Department of Biochemistry and Medical Biotechnologies, Via S. Pansini 5, Napoli, Italy

2 National Research Council, Institute of Sciences of Food Productions, Ecotekne, via Lecce-Monteroni, Lecce, Italy

3 Biotecgen, Ecotekne, via prov.le Monteroni, Lecce, Italy

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Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2008, 27:19  doi:10.1186/1756-9966-27-19

Published: 16 July 2008

Abstract

Background

In these years a huge number of human transcripts has been found that do not code for proteins, named non-protein coding RNAs. In most cases, small (miRNAs, snoRNAs) and long RNAs (antisense RNA, dsRNA, and long RNA species) have many roles, functioning as regulators of other mRNAs, at transcriptional and post-transcriptional level, and controlling protein ubiquitination and degradation. Various species of npcRNAs have been found differentially expressed in different types of cancer. This review discusses the published data and new results on the expression of a subset of npcRNAs.

Conclusion

These results underscore the complexity of the RNA world and provide further evidence on the involvement of functional RNAs in cancer cell growth control.