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Effects of miRNAs on functions of breast cancer stem cells and treatment of breast cancer

Authors Zhang Y, Xu B, Zhang XP

Received 9 February 2018

Accepted for publication 7 May 2018

Published 24 July 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 4263—4270

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S165156

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Geoffrey Pietersz


Ying Zhang,1,* Bin Xu,2,* Xi-ping Zhang3

1Department of Breast Surgery, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, China; 2Department of Surgery, Zhejiang Rehabilitation Medical Center, Hangzhou, China; 3Department of Breast Surgery, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Breast cancer is one of the most common malignancies for women, which accounts for 30% of all female malignancies. The formation of breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) is attributed to the acquisition of stemness of tumor cells. With self-renewal potential, these stem cells are insensitive to either radiotherapy or chemotherapy but are significant in regulating tumor behaviors and drug resistance. MicroRNA (miRNA) is a kind of noncoding small RNA for negatively regulating gene expressions. Research findings suggest that many miRNAs specifically regulate the expression of target genes and signal pathways of BCSCs. They play an important role in self-renewal, growth, and metastasis of breast cancer cells as potential targets for treating breast cancer. These signal pathways include phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10-phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt, Wnt/β-catenin, Notch, and so on. This paper reviews the progress of research about miRNAs in self-renewal, metastasis, epithelial–mesenchymal transition and metastasis, mediation of resistance to chemotherapies, and treatment of breast cancer.

Keywords: breast cancer, stem cells, microRNA, EMT

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