Introduction: Improved understanding of the prognostic biomarkers associated with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is needed for accurate risk group stratification. This study aimed to identify potential long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) markers and evaluate their prognostic value in children with ALL. Methods: We selected 50 children with newly diagnosed ALL and 20 age-matched patients with idiopathic immune thrombocytopenia (controls). RNA sequencing was performed to identify differentially expressed lncRNAs between the ALL and control groups. Correlation analysis was performed to determine the relationships between candidate lncRNAs, clinical features, and the risk of leukemogenesis. Results: A total of 1,019 differentially expressed lncRNAs were identified between the ALL and control groups. Reverse transcriptase (RT-qPCR) revealed that lncRNA RP11-252C15.1 and lncRNA RP11-701P16.2 were significantly upregulated in patients with ALL. Furthermore, correlation analysis showed that lncRNA RP11-252C15.1 and lncRNA RP11-701P16.2 represent potential predictors of leukemogenesis; however, only lncRNA RP11-252C15.1 was associated with clinical features and outcome in children with B-cell precursor ALL (BCP-ALL). In vitro experiments confirmed that lncRNA RP11-252C15.1 was significantly overexpressed in BCP-ALL cell lines and promoted proliferation and repressed apoptosis in MHH-CALL-3 cells. Conclusion: lncRNA RP11-252C15.1 is a potential oncogene in BCP-ALL pathogenesis and a prognostic biomarker in children with BCP-ALL.

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