Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) represent one of the largest classes of transcripts and are highly diverse in terms of characteristics and functions. Advances in high-throughput sequencing platforms have enabled the rapid discovery and identification of lncRNAs as key regulatory molecules involved in various cellular processes and their dysregulation in various human diseases. Here, we summarize the current knowledge of the functions and underlying mechanisms of lncRNA activity with a particular focus on cancer biology. We also discuss the potential of lncRNAs as diagnostic and therapeutic targets for clinical applications.

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