Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are non-protein coding transcripts longer than 200 nucleotides, which are abundantly expressed in human and mouse. A recent study indicates that there are at least 16,000 ncRNAs among which over 3,000 are lncRNAs. In particular, accumulating evidence suggests that dysregulation of lncRNAs is associated with many types of human diseases, highlighting their potential as biomarkers and therapeutic targets. However, studies on lncRNA are still at a very early stage and our understanding of lncRNA function is very limited. Thus, investigation of the expression patterns of lncRNAs is a crucial step to understanding of their roles in normal physiological process as well as disease conditions such as cancer. To this end, we developed a qPCR based disease-related human lncRNA profiler, which allows for the quantification of differential expression of 83 individual lncRNAs among various experimental RNA samples. All 83 lncRNAs chosen for the array are based on publications and the majority of them are associated with cancer. To determine the utility of this lncRNA profiler, we profiled their expression in breast cancer specimens compared to matched normal tissue and identified several lncRNAs are dysregulated, suggesting that lncRNAs may function as oncogenes or tumor suppressors. In addition to those that have already been reported in the literature, we also identified dysregulation of a few lncRNAs not yet in the literature. Furthermore, gene expression profiling with this lncRNA profiler in a series of breast cell lines such as MCF10A, MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 cells identified differential expression patterns unique to each cell line, which may provide a basis for future analysis of these differentially expressed lncRNAs. Finally, we identified several lncRNAs that are induced by p53 in HCT-116 and MCF-7 cells. Experiments are underway to further characterize these p53 inducible lncRNAs. Together, these results suggest that this lncRNA profiler is a valuable research tool for cancer research. The features of this profiler are easy, convenient, sensitive and specific. Accordingly, it serves the first step toward the understanding of the role of lncRNAs in cancer.

Citation Format: {Authors}. {Abstract title} [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 103rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2012 Mar 31-Apr 4; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2012;72(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 196. doi:1538-7445.AM2012-196