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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 543067, 13 pages
Review Article

Splicing Regulation: A Molecular Device to Enhance Cancer Cell Adaptation

1Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, University of Rome Tor Vergata, 00133 Rome, Italy
2Laboratory of Neuroembryology, Fondazione Santa Lucia, 00143 Rome, Italy

Received 30 January 2015; Accepted 23 March 2015

Academic Editor: Peter Jordan

Copyright © 2015 Vittoria Pagliarini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Alternative splicing (AS) represents a major resource for eukaryotic cells to expand the coding potential of their genomes and to finely regulate gene expression in response to both intra- and extracellular cues. Cancer cells exploit the flexible nature of the mechanisms controlling AS in order to increase the functional diversity of their proteome. By altering the balance of splice isoforms encoded by human genes or by promoting the expression of aberrant oncogenic splice variants, cancer cells enhance their ability to adapt to the adverse growth conditions of the tumoral microenvironment. Herein, we will review the most relevant cancer-related splicing events and the underlying regulatory mechanisms allowing tumour cells to rapidly adapt to the harsh conditions they may face during the occurrence and development of cancer.