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J Pathol. 2008 Jul;215(3):214-21. doi: 10.1002/path.2359.

Small is beautiful: microRNAs and breast cancer-where are we now?

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  • 1Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, UK.


MicroRNAs are a recently discovered class of small regulatory RNAs that influence the stability and translational efficiency of target mRNAs. They have been implicated in an increasing number of biological processes, including neoplasia. Recent studies have shown an involvement for these regulatory molecules in breast cancer. For example, miRNA profiling studies have identified microRNAs that are deregulated in breast cancer. Furthermore, functional studies have uncovered their roles in breast cancer as both tumour suppressor genes (eg miR-335) and oncogenes (eg miR-21). miRNAs deregulated in breast cancer influence the translational regulation of well-established regulatory molecules, such as oestrogen receptor-alpha, which is regulated by miR-206, and novel cancer-related molecules whose functions are not yet fully understood.. Here we present an overview of our current understanding of miRNA in breast cancer.

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