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Mol Biol Int. 2011;2011:839872. doi: 10.4061/2011/839872. Epub 2011 Apr 6.

The Role of miRNAs as Key Regulators in the Neoplastic Microenvironment.

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Biological, Chemical and Physical Sciences Department, College of Arts and Sciences, Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL 60605, USA.

Abstract

The neoplastic microenvironment has been recognized to play a critical role in the development of cancer. Although a large body of evidence has established the importance of the cancer microenvironment, the manners of crosstalk between it and the cancer cells still remains unclear. Emerging mechanisms of communication include microRNAs (miRNAs). miRNAs are small noncoding RNA molecules that are involved in the posttranscriptional regulation of mRNA. Both intracellular and circulating miRNAs are differentially expressed in cancer and some of these alterations have been correlated with clinical patient outcomes. The role of miRNAs in the tumor microenvironment has only recently become a focus of research, however. In this paper, we discuss the influence of miRNAs on the tumor microenvironment as it relates to cancer progression. We conclude that miRNAs are a critical component in understanding invasion and metastasis of cancer cells.

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