The functional role of long noncoding RNA in resistance to anticancer treatment

Ther Adv Med Oncol. 2020 Jun 1;12:1758835920927850. doi: 10.1177/1758835920927850. eCollection 2020.


Chemotherapy is one of the fundamental methods of cancer treatment. However, drug resistance remains the main cause of clinical treatment failure. We comprehensively review the newly identified roles of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in oncobiology that are associated with drug resistance. The expression of lncRNAs is tissue-specific and often dysregulated in human cancers. Accumulating evidence suggests that lncRNAs are involved in chemoresistance of cancer cells. The main lncRNA-driven mechanisms of chemoresistance include regulation of drug efflux, DNA damage repair, cell cycle, apoptosis, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), induction of signaling pathways, and angiogenesis. LncRNA-driven mechanisms of resistance to various antineoplastic agents have been studied extensively. There are unique mechanisms of resistance against different types of drugs, and each mechanism may have more than one contributing factor. We summarize the emerging strategies that can be used to overcome the technical challenges in studying and addressing lncRNA-mediated drug resistance.

Keywords: EMT; cancer; drug resistance; long noncoding RNAs; mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Review