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J Cell Sci. 2007 Jun 1;120(Pt 11):1833-40.

MicroRNAs in human cancer: from research to therapy.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale e Diagnostica, Centro Interdipartimentale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Universit√† di Ferrara, via Luigi Borsari 46, 44100 Ferrara, Italy. ngm@unife.it


Numerous miRNAs are deregulated in human cancers, and experimental evidence indicates that they can play roles as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. Similarly to cancer genes that encode proteins, deregulation of miRNA-encoding genes is associated with genetic or epigenetic alterations, such as deletions, amplifications, point mutations and aberrant DNA methylation. The discovery that miRNAs interact with known oncogenes has established further links with molecular pathways implicated in malignant transformation. Finally, miRNAs can be used as diagnostic markers, and their potential as therapeutic molecules has moved miRNAs from the area of basic research to the field of cancer biotechnology.

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