Long non-coding RNA: A recently accentuated molecule in chemoresistance in cancer


Chemotherapy is one of the important and effective options for cancer treatment in the past decades. Although the response rate of initial chemotherapy is considerably high in certain types of cancers, such as ovarian cancer and lung cancer, the patients frequently suffer from chemoresistance and recurrence of disease. Recent genome-wide studies have shown that the large number of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are transcribed from the human genome and involved in many biological processes including carcinogenesis. They aberrantly regulate variety of cell functions, such as cell cycle, apoptosis, autophagy, and metabolisms, which are associated with chemosensitivity. Therefore, understanding the biological and clinical impacts of lncRNAs on tumor behavior and its potential as a predictive biomarker for chemotherapy effectiveness is highly desired. In this review, we classify the major mechanisms of lncRNA-related chemoresistance and provide theoretical evidences for targeting lncRNAs in certain types of cancers that may open up new therapeutic paradigm for cancer treatment.

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Fig. 1



ATP binding cassette


ATP binding cassette subfamily B member 1, C member 1, C member 2 and G member 2


AMP-activated protein kinase




autophagy-related gene




ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related


Bcl-2-associated death promoter


Bcl-2 homologous antagonist killer


Bcl-2-associated X protein members


B-cell lymphoma 2


B-cell lymphoma-extra large


brain derived neurotrophic factor


BH3 interacting domain death agonist


BCL2 interacting killer


lncRNA- bladder cancer associated transcript 1




cadherin 1

CDK1 and CDK4:

cyclin dependent kinase 1 and 4


competing endogenous RNA

CHK1and CHK2:

checkpoint kinases 1 and 2


cAMP response element-binding protein


ncRNA- colorectal neoplasia differentially expressed


cancer stem cell




differentiation antagonizing non-protein coding RNA


DNA damage-sensitive lncRNA1


DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit




double-strand break


E2F transcription factor 1


E2F transcription factor 7


Ai-lncRNA-eosinophil granule ontogeny transcript


epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition


receptor tyrosine-protein kinase erbB-4


enhancer of zeste 2 polycomb repressive complex 2 subunit




gallbladder cancer drug resistance-associated lncRNA1PGK1


histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation


hepatocellular carcinoma


high-mobility group protein A 1


heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein H1


heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K


heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein U like 1


lncRNA-HOX transcript antisense RNA


lncRNA- HOXA distal transcript antisense RNA


homologous recombination


hepatocellular carcinoma up-regulated long non-coding RNA


inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor type 1


lncRNA-bladder cancer suppressor


long non-coding RNA


lncRNA in nonhomologous end joining pathway 1


lncRNA of luminal


lncRNA-metastasis-associated in colon cancer-antisense 1


lncRNA- metastasis associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1


mitogen-activated protein kinase 1


O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase




multi-drug resistant protein


Myc-interacting zinc-finger protein-1


multidrug-Resistance like Protein 1, also known as ABCC1


mammalian target of rapamycin




non-small cell lung cancer


lncRNA- nuclear paraspeckle assembly transcript 1


nerve growth factor


non-homologous end joining


phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate-induced protein 1, also known as PMAIP1


lncRNA- olfactory receptor family 3 subfamily A member 4




promoter of CDKN1A antisense DNA damage activated RNA


poly ADP ribose polymerase inhibitor


phosphoinositide-3-kinase regulatory subunit 3


phosphoglycerate kinase 1


polycomb repressive complex 2


phosphatase and tensin homolog




lncRNA-plasmacytoma Variant Translocation 1


lncRNA RAD51 antisense RNA 1




lncRNA-regulator of reprogramming


RUNX1 overlapping lncRNA


splicing factor arginine/serine-rich 2


sirtuin 1


SMAD family member 2/3


lncRNA- small nucleolar RNA host gene 12


SRY-box transcription factor 2


signal transducer and activator of transcription 3


temozolomide-associated lncRNA in glioblastoma recurrence


transcription factor


transforming growth factor beta




triple-negative breast cancer


taurine upregulated gene 1


lncRNA- urothelial cancer associated 1


Unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase


ubiquitin specific peptidase 22




very low density lipoprotein receptor


X inactive specific transcript

ZEB1 and 2:

zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 and 2


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This study was supported by a research program of P-CREATE, Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (Y. Kondo), and of the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Y. Kondo)

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Correspondence to Yutaka Kondo.

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Peng, Y., Tang, D., Zhao, M. et al. Long non-coding RNA: A recently accentuated molecule in chemoresistance in cancer. Cancer Metastasis Rev (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10555-020-09910-w

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  • Long non-coding RNA
  • Epigenetics
  • Chemoresistance
  • Cancer