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    lncRNAs: function and mechanism in cartilage development, degeneration, and regeneration. Zhu Jian,Yu Wei,Wang Yitian,Xia Kaishun,Huang Yuluan,Xu Ankai,Chen Qixin,Liu Bing,Tao Huimin,Li Fangcai,Liang Chengzhen Stem cell research & therapy With the increasing incidence of cartilage-related diseases such as osteoarthritis (OA) and intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD), heavier financial and social burdens need to be faced. Unfortunately, there is no satisfactory clinical method to target the pathophysiology of cartilage-related diseases. Many gene expressions, signaling pathways, and biomechanical dysregulations were involved in cartilage development, degeneration, and regeneration. However, the underlying mechanism was not clearly understood. Recently, lots of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) were identified in the biological processes, including cartilage development, degeneration, and regeneration. It is clear that lncRNAs were important in regulating gene expression and maintaining chondrocyte phenotypes and homeostasis. In this review, we summarize the recent researches studying lncRNAs' expression and function in cartilage development, degeneration, and regeneration and illustrate the potential mechanism of how they act in the pathologic process. With continued efforts, regulating lncRNA expression in the cartilage regeneration may be a promising biological treatment approach. 10.1186/s13287-019-1458-8