The functional role of long non-coding RNAs and their underlying mechanisms in drug resistance of non-small cell lung cancer

Life Sci. 2020 Nov 15:261:118362. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2020.118362. Epub 2020 Aug 29.


Background: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most commonly diagnosed solid cancer and the main origin of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Current strategies to treat advanced NSCLC are based on a combined approach of targeted therapy and chemotherapy. But most patients will eventually get resistance to either chemotherapy or targeted therapy, leading to the poor prognosis. The mechanism of NSCLC drug resistance is inconclusive and is affected by multiple factors. Long non-coding RNAs (LncRNAs) are non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) longer than 200 nucleotides. Recent studies show that lncRNAs are involved in many cellular physiological activities, including drug resistance of NSCLC. It is of great clinical significance to understand the specific mechanisms and the role of lncRNAs in it.

Conclusions: Herein, we focus on the functional roles and the underlying mechanisms of lncRNAs in acquired drug resistance of NSCLC. LncRNAs have potential values as novel prognostic biomarkers and even therapeutic targets in the clinical management of NSCLC.

Keywords: Drug resistance; Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA); Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / drug effects
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic* / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / genetics
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / metabolism*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • RNA, Long Noncoding