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Mol Cells. 2012 Nov;34(5):425-32. doi: 10.1007/s10059-012-0118-y. Epub 2012 Jul 24.

BRCA1 and microRNAs: emerging networks and potential therapeutic targets.

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  • 1Mouse Cancer Genetics Program, Center for Cancer Research, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Frederick, Maryland 21702, USA.


BRCA1 is a well-known tumor suppressor implicated in familial breast and ovarian cancer. Since its cloning in 1994, numerous studies have established BRCA1's role in diverse cellular and biochemical processes, such as DNA damage repair, cell cycle control, and transcriptional regulation as well as ubiquitination. In addition, a number of recent studies have functionally linked this tumor suppressor to another important cellular regulator, microRNAs, which are short (19-22 nt) RNAs that were discovered in the nematode in 1993. Soon their presence and function were validated in mammals, and since then, the role of microRNAs has been actively investigated in almost all biological processes, including cancer. In this review, we will describe recent progress in the understanding of the BRCA1 function through microRNAs and the role of microRNAs in regulating BRCA1, with emphasis on the implication of these processes on the development and progression of cancer. We will also discuss the therapeutic potential of microRNA mimics or inhibitors of microRNAs to affect BRCA1 function.

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