TINCR: An lncRNA with dual functions in the carcinogenesis process

Bladder Cancer

Noncoding RNA Res. 2020 Jul 9;5(3):109-115. doi: 10.1016/j.ncrna.2020.06.003. eCollection 2020 Sep.


Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have prominent roles in the pathogenesis of human cancers. Several studies have shown oncogenic or tumor suppressor roles of lncRNAs in different human tissues. Thus, these transcripts have been regarded as putative targets in treatment of cancer. The lncRNA terminal differentiation-induced non-coding RNA (TINCR) has an especial position in this regard, as it exerts different opposite roles in the pathogenesis of different human cancers. While it is up-regulated in

gastric, esophageal, bladder and breast cancer; it is down-regulated in glioma, retinoblastoma and prostate cancer. Notably, data regarding expression profile of this lncRNA in a number of human cancers such as colon cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are controversial. Expression level of this lncRNA has been associated with clinical outcome in patients with gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, NSCLC and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Moreover, Kaplan-Meier analyses have shown correlation between expression levels of TINCR and patients survival in patients with lung cancer and HCC. A number of cellular pathways such as Wnt/β-catenin, ERK1/2-SP3 and MAPK signaling pathways have been identified as targets of this lncRNA in different cancers. Moreover, the rs8113645, rs2288947 and rs8105637 within this lncRNA have been associated with risk of gastric and colorectal cancer. In conclusion, although the role of TINCR in the carcinogenesis is essential, based on the conflicting data regarding the direction of effect of this lncRNA, therapeutic targeting of this lncRNA is a complicated issue which should be considered in a tissue-specific or even individualized manner.