Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) constitute large portions of the mammalian transcriptome which appeared as a fundamental player, regulating various cellular mechanisms. LncRNAs do not encode proteins, have mRNA-like transcripts and frequently processed similar to the mRNAs. Many investigations have determined that lncRNAs interact with DNA, RNA molecules or proteins and play a significant regulatory function in several biological processes, such as genomic imprinting, epigenetic regulation, cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, and differentiation. LncRNAs can modulate gene expression on three levels: chromatin remodeling, transcription, and post-transcriptional processing. The majority of the identified lncRNAs seem to be transcribed by the RNA polymerase II. Recent evidence has illustrated that dysregulation of lncRNAs can lead to many human diseases, in particular, cancer. The aberrant expression of lncRNAs in malignancies contributes to the dysregulation of proliferation and differentiation process. Consequently, lncRNAs can be useful to the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis, and have been characterized as potential cancer markers as well. In this review, we highlighted the role and molecular mechanisms of lncRNAs and their correlation with some of the cancers.
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