Splicing is a critical step in gene expression, responsible for the excision of introns, producing the mature form of mRNA. Also, the possible arrangements of exons enlarge the proteome in 80%, enabling one gene to encode more than one protein isoform, thus increasing proteome. Growing data show deregulation of splicing events in cancer, being breast cancer the most studied. This aberrant pattern of splicing has an important role in breast tumor progression. These alterations are mainly caused by misexpression of some critical alternative splicing factors. The behavior of these splicing factors is implicated with important clinical features, such as chemoresistance, aggressiveness, and also metastases. In this chapter, the role of five splicing factors is discussed in the light of relevant data about in vitro, in vivo, and ex vivo studies to construct a representative scheme of their behavior in breast cancer progression. Although the presented five splicing factors have important role in breast cancer, only three of them (ESRP1, RBFOX2, and SRSF1) have a more prominent role in tumorigenesis and tumor progression. These concepts will elucidate their role in tumorigenesis and a prospective use as biomarkers in breast cancer.
Part of the book: Breast Cancer