The emerging role of long non-coding RNAs in cutaneous melanoma

Eleonora Leucci, Elizabeth A. Coe, Jean-Christophe Marine, Keith W. Vance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (SciVal)


Malignant melanoma is a highly aggressive form of skin cancer, the incidence of which is rising rapidly. Although MAPK-targeting therapies and immune checkpoint blockade are emerging as attractive therapeutic approaches, their utility is limited to only a subset of patients who often acquire resistance. A better understanding of the aetiologies and genetic underpinnings of melanoma is therefore critical for the development of adjuvant or alternative therapeutic strategies aimed at increasing the proportion of responders and improving treatment efficacy. A key step in identifying novel therapeutic targets may be the shift in focus from the protein-coding components to the non-coding portion of the genome. The latter, representing about 98% of the genome, serves as a template for the transcription of many thousands of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). Intriguingly, lncRNA loci are frequently mutated or altered in a variety of cancers, including melanoma, and there is growing evidence that lncRNAs can function as cancer-causing oncogenes or tumour suppressors. In this review, we summarize recent data highlighting the importance of lncRNAs in the biology of melanoma and their potential utility as biomarkers and therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-626
JournalPigment Cell & Melanoma Research
Issue number6
Early online date8 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


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