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Exploration of Deregulated Long Non-Coding RNAs in Association with Hepatocarcinogenesis and Survival

Shen, Jing; Siegel, Abby B.; Remotti, Helen E.; Wang, Qiao; Shen, Yueyue; Santella, Regina M.

Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are larger than 200 nucleotides in length and pervasively expressed across the genome. An increasing number of studies indicate that lncRNA transcripts play integral regulatory roles in cellular growth, division, differentiation and apoptosis. Deregulated lncRNAs have been observed in a variety of human cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We determined the expression profiles of 90 lncRNAs for 65 paired HCC tumor and adjacent non-tumor tissues, and 55 lncRNAs were expressed in over 90% of samples. Eight lncRNAs were significantly down-regulated in HCC tumor compared to non-tumor tissues (p < 0.05), but no lncRNA achieved statistical significance after Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. Within tumor tissues, carrying more aberrant lncRNAs (6–7) was associated with a borderline significant reduction Cancers 2015, 7 1848 in survival (HR = 8.5, 95% CI: 1.0–72.5). The predictive accuracy depicted by the AUC was 0.93 for HCC survival when using seven deregulated lncRNAs (likelihood ratio test p = 0.001), which was similar to that combining the seven lncRNAs with tumor size and treatment (AUC = 0.96, sensitivity = 87%, specificity = 87%). These data suggest the potential association of deregulated lncRNAs with hepatocarcinogenesis and HCC survival.

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