Emerging role of lncRNA in cancer: a potential avenue in molecular medicine
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) accounts for the second largest number of cancer related deaths globally with limited management options for the advanced disease. Although substantial research has identified molecular targets, with strong validation in pre-clinical in vivo studies, translation of therapeutics to clinics has shown modest success. In a recent manuscript in Hepatology, Zhou and Yang et al. unravel a novel p53 associated long non-coding RNA (PRAL) as a potential prognostic marker and molecular target in HCC. Their work provides a promising approach at capitalizing the tumor suppressive role of p53 protein in fighting HCC. More importantly, it emphasizes the evolving significance of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA) in molecular medicine. Current research trends focus on identifying and understanding roles of lncRNA in regulation of gene expression relevant to multiple disease pathophysiologies thereby presenting a new avenue of research in molecular and translational medicine.