Long Non-coding RNA ANRIL and Polycomb in Human Cancers and Cardiovascular Disease

  • Francesca Aguilo
  • Serena Di Cecilia
  • Martin J. WalshEmail author
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 394)


The long non-coding RNA CDKN2B-AS1, commonly referred to as the A ntisense N on-coding R NA in the I NK4 L ocus (ANRIL), is a 3.8-kb-long RNA transcribed from the short arm of human chromosome 9 on p21.3 that overlaps a critical region encompassing three major tumor suppressor loci juxtaposed to the INK4b-ARF-INK4a gene cluster and the methyl-thioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP) gene. Genome-wide association studies have identified this region with a remarkable and growing number of disease-associated DNA alterations and single nucleotide polymorphisms, which corresponds to increased susceptibility to human disease. Recent attention has been devoted on whether these alterations in the ANRIL sequence affect its expression levels and/or its splicing transcript variation, and in consequence, global cellular homeostasis. Moreover, recent evidence postulates that ANRIL not only can regulate their immediate genomic neighbors in cis, but also has the capacity to regulate additional loci in trans. This action would further increase the complexity for mechanisms imposed through ANRIL and furthering the scope of this lncRNA in disease pathogenesis. In this chapter, we summarize the most recent findings on the investigation of ANRIL and provide a perspective on the biological and clinical significance of ANRIL as a putative biomarker, specifically, its potential role in directing cellular fates leading to cancer and cardiovascular disease.


Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Gastric Cancer Tissue Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Tissue p16INK4a Expression Embryonic Ectoderm Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



F.A. was supported by the Catalan Agency for Administration of University and Research (AGAUR) under a Beatriu de Pinos postdoctoral fellowship. S.D.C was supported by the European School of Molecular Medicine (SEMM) and CEINGE-Biotecnologie Avazate s.c.a.r.l, Napoli, under a PhD student fellowship. M.J.W. was supported by a Senior Scholar Award in Aging (AG-SS-2482-10) from the Ellison Medical Foundation and Public Health Service Awards HL103967, HL067099, and CA154903 from the NIH.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesca Aguilo
    • 1
  • Serena Di Cecilia
    • 1
    • 2
  • Martin J. Walsh
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Departments of Structural and Chemical Biology, Genetics and Genomic Sciences and PediatricsIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.European School of Molecular MedicineCEINGE—Biotecnologie AvanzateNaplesItaly

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