Caister Academic Press

Antisense RNAs and Modulation of Tumor Suppressor Genes

Hengmi Cui, Isabelle Cui and Xi Yang
from: Non-coding RNAs and Epigenetic Regulation of Gene Expression: Drivers of Natural Selection (Edited by: Kevin V. Morris). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2012)

Abstract

Antisense RNA is the first RNA molecule identified to function as a regulator in the cell. With advances in biological science, antisense RNA is now recognized to be involved in not only post-transcriptional regulation, but also the transcriptional regulation of various important genes including tumor suppressor genes (TSGs). Recent studies indicate that the modulation of TSGs by antisense RNA may be through either up- or down- regulation, occurring either transcriptionally, post-transcriptionally or both, dependent on features of sense and antisense. Antisense RNA is the main contributor of TSG epigenetic silencing in tumorigenesis. While a general picture of the pathways involved in antisense RNA mediated gene regulation has emerged, many questions remain unaddressed: Why does some antisense RNAs function as down-regulators but others as up-regulators in different TSGs? Are the molecular mechanisms of antisense RNA regulation highly gene- and species-specific? Are they spatially and temporally restricted? Is there an antisense RNA-induced silencing complex (ARISC)? What factor(s) cause aberrant expression of antisense RNA in tumor cells? There is the potential for using antisense RNA as a biomarker for the early diagnosis of tumors and developing new therapeutic strategies for tumor treatment by targeting and controlling antisense RNA read more ...
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