Back to Journals » Cancer Management and Research » Volume 11

The emerging roles of PIWI-interacting RNA in human cancers

Authors Yu Y, Xiao J, Hann SS

Received 21 March 2019

Accepted for publication 14 May 2019

Published 28 June 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 5895—5909

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S209300

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Melinda Thomas

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Teng


Yaya Yu,1 Jing Xiao,2 Swei Sunny Hann1,3

1Laboratory of Tumor Biology, The Second Clinical College of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, 510120, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Gynecology, The Second Clinical College of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, 510120, People’s Republic of China; 3Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Clinical Research on Traditional Chinese Medicine Syndrome, The Second Clinical College of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, 510120, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are a type of non-coding RNAs that interact with PIWI proteins, which are members of the argonaute family. Originally described in the germline, piRNAs are also expressed in human somatic cells in a tissue-specific manner. piRNAs are involved in spermatogenesis, germ stem-cell maintenance, silencing of transposon, epigenetic and genomic regulation and rearrangement. A large number of studies have demonstrated that expression of piRNAs is involved in many kinds of disease, including cancer. Abnormal expression of piRNAs is emerging as a critical player in cancer cell proliferation, apoptosis, invasion, and migration in vitro and in vivo. Functionally, piRNAs maintain genomic integrity by repressing the mobilization of transposable elements, and regulate the expression of downstream target genes via transcriptional or post-transcriptional mechanisms. Furthermore, altered expression of piRNAs in cancer is linked to clinical outcome, highlighting the important role that they may play as novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, and as therapeutic targets for cancer therapy. In this review, we focus on the biogenesis and the functional roles of piRNAs in cancers, discuss emerging insights into the roles of piRNAs in the occurrence, progression, and treatment of cancers, reveal various mechanisms underlying piRNAs-mediated gene regulation, and highlight their potential clinical utilities as biomarkers as well as potential targets for cancer treatment.

Keywords: PIWI-interacting RNA, cancer, biogenesis, biomarkers, therapeutics

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]