Alternative splicing in lung cancer.


Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, Central Parkway, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3BZ, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Electronic address: [Email]


Lung cancer has the highest mortality rate of all cancers worldwide. Lung cancer is a very heterogeneous disease that is often diagnosed at later stages which have a poor prognosis. Aberrant alternative splicing patterns found in lung cancer contribute to important cell functions. These include changes in splicing for the BCL2L1, MDM2, MDM4, NUMB and MET genes during lung tumourigenesis, to affect pathways involved in apoptosis, cell proliferation and cellular cohesion. Global analyses of RNASeq datasets suggest there may be many more potentially influential aberrant splicing events that need to be investigated in lung cancer. Changes in expression of the splicing factors that regulate alternative splicing events have also been identified in lung cancer. Of these, changes in expression of QKI, RBM4, RBM5, RBM6, RBM10 and SRSF1 proteins regulate many of the most frequently referenced aberrant splicing events in lung cancer. The expanding list of genes known to be aberrantly spliced in lung cancer along with the altered expression of splicing factors that regulate them are providing new clues as to how lung cancer develops, and how these events can be exploited for better treatment. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: RNA structure and splicing regulation edited by Francisco Baralle, Ravindra Singh and Stefan Stamm.