The discovery of the biological relevance of non-coding RNA molecules represents one of the most significant advances in contemporary molecular biology. It has turned out that a major fraction of the non-coding part of the genome is transcribed. Beside small RNAs (including microRNAs) more and more data are disclosed concerning long non-coding RNAs of 200 nucleotides to 100 kb length that are implicated in the regulation of several basic molecular processes (cell proliferation, chromatin functioning, microRNA-mediated effects, etc.). Some of these long non-coding RNAs have been associated with human tumours, including H19, HOTAIR, MALAT1, etc., the different expression of which has been noted in various neoplasms relative to healthy tissues. Long non-coding RNAs may represent novel markers of molecular diagnostics and they might even turn out to be targets of therapeutic intervention. Orv. Hetil., 2012, 153, 1494-1501.
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