Exploring and exploiting the fundamental role of microRNAs in tumor pathogenesis
Qingbao Cheng,* Bin Yi,* Aihua Wang,* Xiaoqing Jiang
Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China
*These authors contributed equally to this work
Abstract: miRNAs (miRs) are short RNA molecules that are involved in the posttranscriptional regulation of mRNA. The roles of miRs in tumor pathogenesis have only recently become a focus of research. It is becoming increasingly clear that miRs are important regulators of apoptosis, proliferation, invasion, and metastasis in cancer cells during cancer genesis and progression, furthering our understanding of cancer. In the present review, we summarize and evaluate the recent advances in our understanding of the characteristics of miRs as well as their regulated functions in cancer stem cells (CSCs), the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and the tumor microenvironment (TM), describing their roles in tumor pathogenesis and their possible use as new therapeutic targets and biomarkers.
Keywords: miRNA, cancer stem cell, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, tumor microenvironment
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