Although there has been substantial improvement in the treatment modalities, cancer remains the major cause of fatality worldwide. Metastasis, recurrence, and resistance to oncological therapies are the leading causes of cancer mortality. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a complex biological process that allows cancer cells to undergo morphological transformation into a mesenchymal phenotype to acquire invasive potential. It encompasses reversible and dynamic ontogenesis by neoplastic cells during metastatic dissemination. Hence, understanding the molecular landscape of EMT is imperative to identify a reliable clinical biomarker to combat metastatic spread. Accumulating evidence reveals the role of HOX (homeobox) cluster-embedded long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in EMT and cancer metastasis. They play a crucial role in the induction of EMT, modulating diverse biological targets. The present review emphasizes the involvement of HOX cluster-embedded lncRNAs in EMT as a molecular sponge, chromatin remodeler, signaling regulator, and immune system modulator. Furthermore, the molecular mechanisms behind therapy resistance and the potential use of novel drugs targeting HOX cluster-embedded lncRNAs in the clinical management of distant metastasis will be discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research