MicroRNAs: key players of taxane resistance and their therapeutic potential in human cancers

J Cell Mol Med. 2013 Oct;17(10):1207-17. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.12131. Epub 2013 Sep 23.


The successful long-term use of taxane for cancer therapy is often prevented by the development of drug resistance in clinic. Thus, exploring the mechanisms involved is a first step towards rational strategies to overcome taxane resistance. Taxane resistance-related microRNA (miRNAs) are under investigation and miRNAs could induce the taxane resistance of tumour cells by regulating cell cycle distribution, survival and/or apoptosis pathways, drug transports, epithelial-mesenchymal transition and cancer stem cell. This article summarizes current research involving miRNAs as regulators of key target genes for tanxanxe chemoresistance and discusses the complex regulatory networks of miRNAs. Also, the authors will envisage future developments towards the potential use of targeting miRNAs as a novel strategy for improving response of tumour patients to taxane. miRNAs play critical roles in taxane chemoresistance and the miRNA-based therapies will be helpful for overcoming drug resistance and developing more effective personalized anti-cancer treatment strategies. Further research studies should be performed to promote therapeutic-clinical use of taxane resistance-related miRNAs in cancer patients, especially in those patients with taxane-resistant cancers.

Keywords: apoptosis; cell cycle; chemoresistance; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; microRNA; taxane.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / physiology*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Taxoids / therapeutic use*


  • MicroRNAs
  • Taxoids