Gemcitabine is a cytidine analogue frequently used in the treatment of various cancers. However, the development of chemoresistance limits its effectiveness. Gemcitabine resistance is regulated by various factors, including aberrant genetic and epigenetic controls, metabolism of gemcitabine, the microenvironment, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, and acquisition of cancer stem cell properties. In many situations, results using cell lines offer valuable lessons leading to the first steps of important findings. In this review, we mainly discuss the factors involved in gemcitabine metabolism in association with chemoresistance, including nucleoside transporters, deoxycytidine kinase, cytidine deaminase, and ATP-binding cassette transporters, and outline new perspectives for enhancing the efficacy of gemcitabine to overcome acquired chemoresistance.
- ATP-binding cassette transporters
- Cytidine deaminase
- Deoxycytidine kinase
- Human equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1