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Mol Cancer Ther. 2008 Dec;7(12):3655-60. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-08-0586.

MicroRNAs and cancer: past, present, and potential future.

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1
The Translational Genomics Research Institute, 10510 North 92nd Street, Suite 200, Scottsdale, AZ 85238, USA.

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small RNAs that have revealed a new level of gene regulation in the cell. After being processed by Drosha and Dicer RNase III endonucleases, mature miRNAs can inhibit the translation of mRNA by directing a RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) to the target mRNA. miRNAs are making an impact in our understanding of cancer biology. Acting as either tumor suppressors or oncogenes, miRNAs regulate several genes known to play important roles in cancer. With the discovery of miRNAs comes the need for new techniques to study their activity. Bioinformatic tools can be used to predict mRNA targets of miRNA, but validation of miRNA regulation of predicted targets is imperative. miRNAs are differentially expressed in normal and tumor cells as well as between tumor subtypes. These differences may be useful as prognostic and predictive markers in cancer patients. The study of miRNAs holds much promise for improving diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

PMID:
19074842
DOI:
10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-08-0586
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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