Theranostics 2020; 10(24):11049-11062. doi:10.7150/thno.49168

Review

The emerging role of super enhancer-derived noncoding RNAs in human cancer

Yutong Wang1#, Hui Nie1#, Xiaoyun He2, Zhiming Liao1, Yangying Zhou3, Jianhua Zhou1✉, Chunlin Ou1,4✉

1. Department of Pathology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, 410008, China.
2. Department of Endocrinology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410008, China.
3. Department of Oncology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha 410008, Hunan, China.
4. National Clinical Research Center for Geriatric Disorders, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha 410008, Hunan, China.
#Co-first authors with equal contributions to this work.

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Citation:
Wang Y, Nie H, He X, Liao Z, Zhou Y, Zhou J, Ou C. The emerging role of super enhancer-derived noncoding RNAs in human cancer. Theranostics 2020; 10(24):11049-11062. doi:10.7150/thno.49168. Available from http://www.thno.org/v10p11049.htm

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Abstract

Super enhancers (SEs) are large clusters of adjacent enhancers that drive the expression of genes which regulate cellular identity; SE regions can be enriched with a high density of transcription factors, co-factors, and enhancer-associated epigenetic modifications. Through enhanced activation of their target genes, SEs play an important role in various diseases and conditions, including cancer. Recent studies have shown that SEs not only activate the transcriptional expression of coding genes to directly regulate biological functions, but also drive the transcriptional expression of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) to indirectly regulate biological functions. SE-derived ncRNAs play critical roles in tumorigenesis, including malignant proliferation, metastasis, drug resistance, and inflammatory response. Moreover, the abnormal expression of SE-derived ncRNAs is closely related to the clinical and pathological characterization of tumors. In this review, we summarize the functions and roles of SE-derived ncRNAs in tumorigenesis and discuss their prospective applications in tumor therapy. A deeper understanding of the potential mechanism underlying the action of SE-derived ncRNAs in tumorigenesis may provide new strategies for the early diagnosis of tumors and targeted therapy.

Keywords: Super enhancers, Noncoding RNAs, Tumorigenesis, Inflammatory response, Therapy