Stem Cell Reviews and Reports

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 314–323 | Cite as

The Ambivalent Role of lncRNA Xist in Carcinogenesis

  • Yung-Kang Chen
  • Yun YenEmail author


Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) Xist has emerged as a key modulator in dosage compensation by randomly inactivating one of the X chromosomes in mammals during embryonic development. Dysregulation of X chromosome inactivation (XCI) due to deletion of Xist has been proven to induce hematologic cancer in mice. However, this phenomenon is not consistent in humans as growing evidence suggests Xist can suppress or promote cancer growth in different organs of the human body. In this review, we discuss recent advances of XCI in human embryonic stem cells and provide an explanation for the seemingly contradictory roles of Xist in development of human cancer.


Cancer stem cell Long non-coding RNA X Chromosome inactivation XIST non-coding RNA XACT non-coding RNA MicroRNAs Competing endogenous RNA Exosomes 



This study was supported by grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST 107-2321-B-038-002); “TMU Research Center of Cancer Translational Medicine” from The Featured Areas Research Center Program within the framework of the Higher Education Sprout Project by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Taiwan; and the Center of Excellence for Cancer Research, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan (MOHW107-TDU-B-212-114020; MOHW107-TDU-B-212-114014; MOHW107-TDU-B-212-114026B). We thank Dr. Frank Lu for his invaluable advice and English proofreading.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of MedicineTaipei Medical UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of General MedicineTaipei Veterans General HospitalTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Graduate Institute of Medical InformaticsTaipei Medical UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  4. 4.TMU Research Center of Cancer Translational MedicineTaipei Medical UniversityTaipei CityTaiwan
  5. 5.Taipei Municipal Wanfang HospitalTaipei Medical UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  6. 6.Program for Cancer Molecular Biology and Drug Discovery, College of Medical Science and TechnologyTaipei Medical UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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