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Curr Drug Targets. 2010 Aug;11(8):926-35.

MicroRNA-21: from cancer to cardiovascular disease.

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Institute for Molecular and Translational Therapeutic Strategies, Medical School Hannover, Carl-Neuberg-Strasse 1, Hannover, Germany.


MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) expression is activated in multiple types of cancers, such as breast, liver, brain, prostate, myometrial cancers but also in cardiovascular diseases. MiR-21 regulates a plethora of target proteins which are involved in cellular survival, apoptosis and cell invasiveness. MiR-21 regulation is complex due to an own promoter that is target for various transcription factors and hormones. The consistent miR-21 overexpression under pathophysiological conditions points to miR-21 as a valuable tool for new therapeutic strategies. In this review, we present and analyze current data about miR-21 expression in various pathologies ranging from cancer to cardiovascular disease. Further, miR-21 regulatory mechanisms and miR-21 downstream targets are discussed. Finally, we highlight the particular role of miR-21 as a therapeutic target in various diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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