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DOI: 10.18413/2658-6533-2024-10-1-0-1

Retroelements in targeted antitumor therapy (review)

Background: Pathological expression of retroelements is determined in most malignant tumors, which reflects the pathogenesis of tumors, since activated retrotransposons cause genomic instability due to a cascade of mutual regulatory influence events between transposons, tumor suppressors and oncogenes. These relationships are reflected in the expression profiles of certain long non-coding RNAs and miRNAs in specific tumor tissues, since retroelements are key sources of non-coding RNAs. Since retroelements serve as drivers for the initiation and progression of carcinogenesis, it is promising to use drugs aimed at inhibiting their expression. The aim of the study: To determine the available methods of influencing retroelements in antitumor therapy, to evaluate the ways of their further improvement for the effective treatment of malignant neoplasms. Materials and methods: The databases Scopus, WoS, PubMed were used to analyze the role of retroelements in the development of tumors, methods of influencing them in the treatment of neoplasms. Results: Reverse transcriptase inhibitors have proven to be effective. Silencing of retrotransposons by acting on histone modifiers can lead to a weakening of the antitumor immune response; therefore, this approach requires RNA guides that direct the formation of heterochromatin in the area where strictly specific retroelements are located. A promising method is viral mimicry aimed at activating the interferon and T-cell response to artificially activated endogenous retroviruses. For this purpose, inhibitors of histone methyltransferases, DNA methyltransferases, and histone deacetylases are used. Their joint use is most effective, especially with PD-1 checkpoint blockers. The arrangement of retroelements in gene introns has become the basis for the development of spliceosomal targeted therapy, which also initiates an antitumor immune response to double-stranded RNA transcripts. We suggest the possibility of using antisense oligonucleotides targeting retroelements in anticancer therapy. Such approach is used to treat age-related macular degeneration, Fukuyama muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Antisense oligonucleotides targeting microRNAs, proto-oncogenes, and oncosuppressors are used in anticancer therapy and are closely related to retroelements, which could become promising targets for antisense oligonucleotides. Conclusion: In antitumor therapy, it is possible to use two diametrically opposed strategies for influencing retroelements: inhibition and activation. The most promising way is a combination of these methods with specific silencing of retrotransposons using guides (complementary RNAs) and stimulation of the expression of elements not involved in carcinogenesis, but activating the immune response.

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