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Genetics Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 737416, 16 pages
Review Article

Mechanistic Roles of Noncoding RNAs in Lung Cancer Biology and Their Clinical Implications

1British Columbia Cancer Research Center, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 1L3
2Interdisciplinary Oncology Program, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 1L3
3Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 2B5

Received 16 September 2011; Accepted 8 March 2012

Academic Editor: Elfride De Baere

Copyright © 2012 Katey S. S. Enfield et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Lung cancer biology has traditionally focused on genomic and epigenomic deregulation of protein-coding genes to identify oncogenes and tumor suppressors diagnostic and therapeutic targets. Another important layer of cancer biology has emerged in the form of noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), which are major regulators of key cellular processes such as proliferation, RNA splicing, gene regulation, and apoptosis. In the past decade, microRNAs (miRNAs) have moved to the forefront of ncRNA cancer research, while the role of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) is emerging. Here we review the mechanisms by which miRNAs and lncRNAs are deregulated in lung cancer, the technologies that can be applied to detect such alterations, and the clinical potential of these RNA species. An improved comprehension of lung cancer biology will come through the understanding of the interplay between deregulation of non-coding RNAs, the protein-coding genes they regulate, and how these interactions influence cellular networks and signalling pathways.