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Cancer Lett. 2009 Nov 28;285(2):116-26. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2009.04.031. Epub 2009 May 22.

MicroRNAs: novel regulators in the hallmarks of human cancer.

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Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Cell Biology and Tumor Cell Engineering, School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs of 18-25 nucleotides in length that function as negative regulators. miRNAs post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression by either inhibiting mRNA translation or inducing mRNA degradation, and participate in a wide variety of physiological and pathological cellular processes. Recent reports have revealed that the deregulation of miRNAs correlates with various human cancers and is involved in the initiation and progression of human cancers. miRNAs can act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors to inhibit the expression of cancer-related target genes and to promote or suppress tumorigenesis in various tissues. Therefore, abnormal miRNA expression can be regarded as a common feature of human cancers, and the identification of miRNAs and their respective targets may provide potential diagnostic and prognostic tumor biomarkers and new therapeutic strategies to treat cancers. In the present review, we discuss the emerging roles of miRNAs in the hallmarks of human cancers.

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