Lung cancer remains the major cause of human mortality among all the cancer types despite
the colossal amount of efforts to prevent the cancer onset and to provide the appropriate cure.
Recent reports have identified that important contributors of lung cancer-related mortality are the
drug resistance and aggressive tumor relapse, the characteristics contributed by the presence of lung
cancer stem cells (CSCs). The identification of lung CSCs is inherently complex due to the quiescent
nature of lung epithelium, which makes the distinction between the normal lung epithelium and lung
CSCs difficult. Recently, multiple researches have helped in the identification of lung CSCs based
on the presence or absence of certain specific types of stem cell markers. Maintenance of lung CSCs
is chiefly mediated through the epigenetic modifications of their genome. In this review, we will discuss
about the origin of lung CSCs and the role of epigenetic modifications in their maintenance. We
will also discuss in brief the major lung CSC markers and the therapeutic approaches to selectively
target this population of cells.
Keywords: Lung cancer stem cells, epigenetic reprogramming, DNA methylation, chromatin remodeling, miRNAs, stem cell
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