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Functional miRNAs in breast cancer drug resistance

Authors Hu WZ, Tan CL, He YJ, Zhang GQ, Xu Y, Tang JH

Received 25 September 2017

Accepted for publication 3 December 2017

Published 19 March 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 1529—1541


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Geoffrey Pietersz

Weizi Hu,1–3,* Chunli Tan,1–3,* Yunjie He,4 Guangqin Zhang,2 Yong Xu,3,5 Jinhai Tang1

1Department of General Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, 2School of Basic Medicine and Clinical Pharmacy, China Pharmaceutical University, 3Nanjing Medical University Affiliated Cancer Hospital, 4The First Clinical School of Nanjing Medical University, 5Jiangsu Key Lab of Cancer Biomarkers, Prevention and Treatment, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Owing to improved early surveillance and advanced therapy strategies, the current death rate due to breast cancer has decreased; nevertheless, drug resistance and relapse remain obstacles on the path to successful systematic treatment. Multiple mechanisms responsible for drug resistance have been elucidated, and miRNAs seem to play a major part in almost every aspect of cancer progression, including tumorigenesis, metastasis, and drug resistance. In recent years, exosomes have emerged as novel modes of intercellular signaling vehicles, initiating cell–cell communication through their fusion with target cell membranes, delivering functional molecules including miRNAs and proteins. This review particularly focuses on enumerating functional miRNAs involved in breast cancer drug resistance as well as their targets and related mechanisms. Subsequently, we discuss the prospects and challenges of miRNA function in drug resistance and highlight valuable approaches for the investigation of the role of exosomal miRNAs in breast cancer progression and drug resistance.

Keywords: microRNA, exosome, breast cancer, drug resistance

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