The Landscape of lncRNAs in Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Translational Perspective
Juan Pablo Unfried 1 , Paloma Sangro 2 , Laura Prats-Mari 1 , Bruno Sangro 2 3 4 , Puri Fortes 1 3 4
LncRNAs are emerging as relevant regulators of multiple cellular processes involved in cell physiology as well as in the development and progression of human diseases, most notably, cancer.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a prominent cause of cancer-related death worldwide due to the high prevalence of causative factors, usual cirrhotic status of the tumor-harboring livers and the suboptimal benefit of locoregional and systemic therapies.
Despite huge progress in the molecular characterization of HCC, no oncogenic loop addiction has been identified and most genetic alterations remain non-druggable, underscoring the importance of advancing research in novel approaches for HCC treatment.
In this context, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) appear as potentially useful targets as they often exhibit high tumor- and tissue-specific expression and many studies have reported an outstanding dysregulation of lncRNAs in HCC.
However, there is a limited perspective of the potential role that deregulated lncRNAs may play in HCC progression and aggressiveness or the mechanisms and therapeutic implications behind such effects. In this review, we offer a clarifying landscape of current efforts to evaluate lncRNA potential as therapeutic targets in HCC using evidence from preclinical models as well as from recent studies on novel oncogenic pathways that show lncRNA-dependency.