MDPI, Cancers, 6(12), p. 1662, 2020
Radiotherapy is a cancer treatment that applies high doses of ionizing radiation to induce cell death, mainly by triggering DNA double-strand breaks. The outcome of radiotherapy greatly depends on radiosensitivity of cancer cells, which is determined by multiple proteins and cellular processes. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), in determining the response to radiation. Non-coding RNAs modulate ionizing radiation response by targeting key signaling pathways, including DNA damage repair, apoptosis, glycolysis, cell cycle arrest, and autophagy. Additionally, we indicate miRNAs and lncRNAs that upon overexpression or inhibition alter cellular radiosensitivity. Current data indicate the potential of using specific non-coding RNAs as modulators of cellular radiosensitivity to improve outcome of radiotherapy.