Non-Coding RNAs in Pediatric Solid Tumors

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Frontiers in Genetics, 2019, 10
Issue Date:
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© Copyright © 2019 Smith, Catchpoole and Hutvagner. Pediatric solid tumors are a diverse group of extracranial solid tumors representing approximately 40% of childhood cancers. Pediatric solid tumors are believed to arise as a result of disruptions in the developmental process of precursor cells which lead them to accumulate cancerous phenotypes. In contrast to many adult tumors, pediatric tumors typically feature a low number of genetic mutations in protein-coding genes which could explain the emergence of these phenotypes. It is likely that oncogenesis occurs after a failure at many different levels of regulation. Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) comprise a group of functional RNA molecules that lack protein coding potential but are essential in the regulation and maintenance of many epigenetic and post-translational mechanisms. Indeed, research has accumulated a large body of evidence implicating many ncRNAs in the regulation of well-established oncogenic networks. In this review we cover a range of extracranial solid tumors which represent some of the rarer and enigmatic childhood cancers known. We focus on two major classes of ncRNAs, microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs, which are likely to play a key role in the development of these cancers and emphasize their functional contributions and molecular interactions during tumor formation.
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