Avian lymphoid leukosis-like (LL-like) lymphoma has been observed in some experimental and commercial lines of chickens that are free of exogenous avian leukosis virus. Reported cases of avian lymphoid leukosis-like lymphoma incidences in the susceptible chickens are relatively low, but the apathogenic subgroup E avian leukosis virus (ALV-E) and the Marek’s disease vaccine, SB-1, significantly escalate the disease incidence in the susceptible chickens. However, the underlying mechanism of tumorigenesis is poorly understood. In this study, we bioinformatically analyzed the deep RNA sequences of 6 lymphoid leukosis-like lymphoma samples, collected from susceptible chickens post both ALV-E and SB-1 inoculation, and identified a total of 1,692 novel long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). Thirty-nine of those novel lncRNAs were detected with altered expression in the LL-like tumors. In addition, 13 lncRNAs whose neighboring genes also showed differentially expression and 2 conserved novel lncRNAs, XLOC_001407 and XLOC_022595, may have previously un-appreciated roles in tumor development in human. Furthermore, 14 lncRNAs, especially XLOC_004542, exhibited strong potential as competing endogenous RNAs via sponging miRNAs. The analysis also showed that ALV subgroup E viral gene Gag/Gag-pol and the MD vaccine SB-1 viral gene RLORF1 and ORF413 were particularly detectable in the LL-like tumor samples. In addition, we discovered 982 novel lncRNAs that were absent in the current annotation of chicken genome and 39 of them were aberrantly expressed in the tumors. This is the first time that lncRNA signature is identified in avian lymphoid leukosis-like lymphoma and suggests the epigenetic factor, lncRNA, is involved with the avian lymphoid leukosis-like lymphoma formation and development in susceptible chickens. Further studies to elucidate the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying the avian lymphoid leukosis-like lymphoma is indeed warranted.
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