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Non-coding RNAs in cancers with chromosomal rearrangements: the signatures, causes, functions and implications
Cai Han , Lin-Yu Sun, Wen-Tao Wang, Yu-Meng Sun, and Yue-Qin Chen *
MOE Key Laboratory of Gene Function and Regulation, State Key Laboratory for Biocontrol, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*Correspondence to:Yue-Qin Chen, E-mail:
J Mol Cell Biol, Volume 11, Issue 10, October 2019, 886-898,
Keyword: chromosomal translocation, non-coding RNA, fusion protein, gene regulation, non-coding fusion transcript

Chromosomal translocation leads to the juxtaposition of two otherwise separate DNA loci, which could result in gene fusion. These rearrangements at the DNA level are catastrophic events and often have causal roles in tumorigenesis. The oncogenic DNA messages are transferred to RNA molecules, which are in most cases translated into cancerous fusion proteins. Gene expression programs and signaling pathways are altered in these cytogenetically abnormal contexts. Notably, non-coding RNAs have attracted increasing attention and are believed to be tightly associated with chromosome-rearranged cancers. These RNAs not only function as modulators in downstream pathways but also directly affect chromosomal translocation or the associated products. This review summarizes recent research advances on the relationship between non-coding RNAs and chromosomal translocations and on diverse functions of non-coding RNAs in cancers with chromosomal rearrangements.