A recent study has revealed that the expression of long noncoding RNA LINC00426 is related to prognosis for non‐small cell lung cancer.
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The results have highlighted LINC00426 as a possible biomarker for lung cancer prognosis, however, more research is required to first uncover the underlying mechanisms that LINC00426 relevant to its influence on lung cancer.
Looking for a correlation between LINC00426 expression and prognosis
Scientists at Tianjin Union Medical Center, China, recently conducted a study in which they investigated the influence of LINC00426 expression in non‐small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), aiming to establish whether the long noncoding RNA was correlated with prognosis.
In a paper that was published last November in the journal Thoracic Cancer, the team describes how they designed and implemented a bioinformatics study to help determine the role of LINC00426 expression in NSCLC. In total, 72 patients with NSCLC were investigated in the study.
They used The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database to screen the expression of LINC00426 of NSCLC. The team then split the NSCLC patients into groups based on the level of expression of LINC00426 in their samples of tumor tissue.
Patients were allocated into one of two groups, high expression of LINC00426 or low expression. An analysis was then conducted to determine whether a correlation existed between the LINC00426 expression group and the prognosis of the patient.
Also, the researchers looked at the relationship between the expression of LINC00426 and the patients’ clinical characteristics to see if there was any correlation.
LINC00426 expression correlated with the stage of cancer
The expression on LINC00426 was not found to be significantly different between cancerous and non-cancerous tissue samples.
However, the results did show that those in the LINC00426 high expression group had better survival rates, although there was no significant difference between the groups in terms of disease-free survival.
Finally, the analysis also showed that LINC00426 expression was correlated with the stage of cancer.
LINC00426's future use as a biomarker
The team was able to find evidence to support that the expression of long noncoding RNA LINC00426 is related to the prognosis of NSCLC. Results showed that LINC00426 is downregulated in tumorous tissue and that this downregulation was correlated with poor prognosis.
Previous research has linked other long noncoding RNAs with regulatory mechanisms that are key in the initiation, development, and metastasis of cancer, and especially lung cancer. MALAT1, HOTAIR, Gas5, and H19 are long noncoding RNAs that have previously been determined to play a role in cancer.
LINC00426 can now be added to this list, however, the biological function of this long noncoding RNA remains unclear. Further research is needed to uncover the full role and function of LINC00426 within the body.
Because the researchers at Tianjin Union Medical Center found that expression of LINC00426 is downregulated in NSCLC, it is possible that this specific noncoding RNA could serve as a biomarker for lung cancer prognosis.
Before this can happen though, more research is required to uncover the exact way in which LINC00426 expression impacts the initiation and progression of lung cancer.
Soon we are likely to see the results of new research studies elucidating these underlying mechanisms, helping to make significant steps towards using LINC00426 as a biomarker.
Once this is possible, LINC00426 may help improve the diagnosis of NSCLC, potentially diagnosing people earlier in a non-invasive way, such as via blood test.
It will likely be used alongside current diagnostic procedures to enhance them and potentially help inform medical professionals on tailored treatment options for individual patients.
However, it will be several years before this possibility becomes a reality.
Du, W., Sun, J., Gu, J., Zhang, S. and Zhang, T. (2019). Bioinformatics analysis of LINC00426 expression in lung cancer and its correlation with patients' prognosis. Thoracic Cancer, 11(1), pp.150-155.