Skip to main content
Publications of the Week

RNA Splicing Dysregulation and the Hallmarks of Cancer

By January 17, 2023No Comments

Dysregulated RNA splicing is a molecular feature that characterizes almost all tumour types. Cancer-associated splicing alterations arise from both recurrent mutations and altered expression of trans-acting factors governing splicing catalysis and regulation. Cancer-associated splicing dysregulation can promote tumorigenesis via diverse mechanisms, contributing to increased cell proliferation, decreased apoptosis, enhanced migration and metastatic potential, resistance to chemotherapy and evasion of immune surveillance. Recent studies have identified specific cancer-associated isoforms that play critical roles in cancer cell transformation and growth and demonstrated the therapeutic benefits of correcting or otherwise antagonizing such cancer-associated mRNA isoforms. Clinical-grade small molecules that modulate or inhibit RNA splicing have similarly been developed as promising anticancer therapeutics. Here, we review splicing alterations characteristic of cancer cell transcriptomes, dysregulated splicing’s contributions to tumour initiation and progression, and existing and emerging approaches for targeting splicing for cancer therapy. Finally, we discuss the outstanding questions and challenges that must be addressed to translate these findings into the clinic.