Non-coding RNAs regulate tumor cell plasticityReport as inadecuate

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Science China Life Sciences

, Volume 56, Issue 10, pp 886–890

First Online: 05 October 2013Received: 01 August 2013Accepted: 10 September 2013DOI: 10.1007-s11427-013-4554-5

Cite this article as: Liu, B., Sun, L. & Song, E. Sci. China Life Sci. 2013 56: 886. doi:10.1007-s11427-013-4554-5


Tumor metastasis is one of the most serious challenges for human cancers as the majority of deaths caused by cancer are associated with metastasis, rather than the primary tumor. Recent studies have demonstrated that tumor cell plasticity plays a critical role in tumor metastasis by giving rise to various cell types which is necessary for tumor to invade adjacent tissues and form distant metastasis. These include differentiation of cancer stem cells CSCs, or epithelial-mesenchymal transition EMT and its reverse process, mesenchymal-epithelial transition MET. A growing body of evidence has demonstrated that the biology of tumor cell plasticity is tightly linked to functions of non-coding RNAs ncRNAs, especially microRNAs miRNAs and long non-coding RNAs lncRNAs. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms how non-coding RNAs regulate tumor cell plasticity is essential for discovery of new diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets to overcome metastasis.

Keywordsmetastasis tumor cell plasticity CSCs EMT miRNA lncRNA This article is published with open access at

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Author: BoDu Liu - LiJuan Sun - ErWei Song


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