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Keywords:

  • alternative splicing;
  • epigenetic modifications;
  • melanoma;
  • microRNA;
  • non-coding RNA

Abstract

Until recently, the general perception has been that mutations in protein-coding genes are responsible for tumorigenesis. With the discovery of V600EBRAF in about 50% of cutaneous melanomas, there was an increased effort to find additional mutations. However, mutations characterized in melanoma to date cannot account for the development of all melanomas. With the discovery of microRNAs as important players in melanomagenesis, protein mutations are no longer considered the sole drivers of tumors. Recent research findings have expanded the view for tumor initiation and progression to additional non-coding RNAs. The data suggest that tumorigenesis is likely an interplay between mutated proteins and deregulation of non-coding RNAs in the cell with an additional role of the tumor environment. With the exception of microRNAs, our knowledge of the role of non-coding RNAs in melanoma is in its infancy. Using few examples, we will summarize some of the roles of non-coding RNAs in tumorigenesis. Thus, there is a whole world beyond protein-coding sequences and microRNAs, which can cause melanoma.