Emerging role of chimeric rnas in cell plasticity and adaptive evolution of cancer cells

Sumit Mukherjee, Henry H. Heng, Milana Frenkel-Morgenstern

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Gene fusions can give rise to somatic alterations in cancers. Fusion genes have the potential to create chimeric RNAs, which can generate the phenotypic diversity of cancer cells, and could be associated with novel molecular functions related to cancer cell survival and proliferation. The expression of chimeric RNAs in cancer cells might impact diverse cancer-related functions, including loss of apoptosis and cancer cell plasticity, and promote oncogenesis. Due to their recurrence in cancers and functional association with oncogenic processes, chimeric RNAs are considered biomarkers for cancer diagnosis. Several recent studies demonstrated that chimeric RNAs could lead to the generation of new functionality for the resistance of cancer cells against drug therapy. Therefore, targeting chimeric RNAs in drug resistance cancer could be useful for developing precision medicine. So, understanding the functional impact of chimeric RNAs in cancer cells from an evolutionary perspective will be helpful to elucidate cancer evolution, which could provide a new insight to design more effective therapies for cancer patients in a personalized manner.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4328
Issue number17
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer evolution
  • Cellular plasticity
  • Chimeric RNAs
  • Genomic instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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