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Cancers 2017, 9(4), 38; doi:10.3390/cancers9040038

Long Non-Coding RNAs: Key Regulators of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition, Tumour Drug Resistance and Cancer Stem Cells

1
Thoracic Oncology Research Group, Rm 2.09, Trinity Translational Medical Institute, St. James’s Hospital, Dublin D08 W9RT, Ireland
2
Masters in Translational Oncology Program, Department of Surgery, Trinity College Dublin, Trinity Translational Medical Institute, St. James’s Hospital, Dublin D08 W9RT, Ireland
3
Department of Histopathology & Morbid Anatomy, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin D08 RX0X, Ireland
4
HOPE Directorate, St. James’s Hospital, Dublin D08 RT2X, Ireland
5
Department of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin D02 R590, Ireland
6
Labmed Directorate, St. James’s Hospital, Dublin D08 K0Y5, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ryou-u Takahashi and Takahiro Ochiya
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 14 April 2017 / Accepted: 18 April 2017 / Published: 21 April 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [921 KB, uploaded 21 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

Epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT), the adoption by epithelial cells of a mesenchymal-like phenotype, is a process co-opted by carcinoma cells in order to initiate invasion and metastasis. In addition, it is becoming clear that is instrumental to both the development of drug resistance by tumour cells and in the generation and maintenance of cancer stem cells. EMT is thus a pivotal process during tumour progression and poses a major barrier to the successful treatment of cancer. Non-coding RNAs (ncRNA) often utilize epigenetic programs to regulate both gene expression and chromatin structure. One type of ncRNA, called long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), has become increasingly recognized as being both highly dysregulated in cancer and to play a variety of different roles in tumourigenesis. Indeed, over the last few years, lncRNAs have rapidly emerged as key regulators of EMT in cancer. In this review, we discuss the lncRNAs that have been associated with the EMT process in cancer and the variety of molecular mechanisms and signalling pathways through which they regulate EMT, and finally discuss how these EMT-regulating lncRNAs impact on both anti-cancer drug resistance and the cancer stem cell phenotype. View Full-Text
Keywords: long non-coding RNA (lncRNA); epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT); chemotherapy resistance; cancer stem cell (CSC) long non-coding RNA (lncRNA); epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT); chemotherapy resistance; cancer stem cell (CSC)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Heery, R.; Finn, S.P.; Cuffe, S.; Gray, S.G. Long Non-Coding RNAs: Key Regulators of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition, Tumour Drug Resistance and Cancer Stem Cells. Cancers 2017, 9, 38.

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