In Silico and In Vitro Analyses of LncRNAs as Potential Regulators in the Transition from the Epithelioid to Sarcomatoid Histotype of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM).

International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2018 April [Link]

Singh AS, Heery R, Gray SG


Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare malignancy, with extremely poor survival rates. At present, treatment options are limited, with no second line chemotherapy for those who fail first line therapy. Extensive efforts are ongoing in a bid to characterise the underlying molecular mechanisms of mesothelioma. Recent research has determined that between 70⁻90% of our genome is transcribed. As only 2% of our genome is protein coding, the roles of the remaining proportion of non-coding RNA in biological processes has many applications, including roles in carcinogenesis and epithelial⁻mesenchymal transition (EMT), a process thought to play important roles in MPM pathogenesis. Non-coding RNAs can be separated loosely into two subtypes, short non-coding RNAs (<200 nucleotides) or long (>200 nucleotides). A significant body of evidence has emerged for the roles of short non-coding RNAs in MPM. Less is known about the roles of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in this disease setting. LncRNAs have been shown to play diverse roles in EMT, and it has been suggested that EMT may play a role in the aggressiveness of MPM histological subsets. In this report, using both in vitro analyses on mesothelioma patient material and in silico analyses of existing RNA datasets, we posit that various lncRNAs may play important roles in EMT within MPM, and we review the current literature regarding these lncRNAs with respect to both EMT and MPM.