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Curr Pathobiol Rep. 2013 Mar;1(1):71-79. Epub 2012 Dec 18.

microRNA Regulation and Its Consequences in Cancer.

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Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892 ; Department of Oncology, Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20057.


MicroRNA (miRNA) function has been studied extensively in the last two decades. These short, non-coding RNAs influence a variety of cellular processes through repression of target genes. With the number of genes that a single miRNA can target, the biological effects of one miRNA alone can be vast. In cancer, aberrant miRNA expression is ubiquitous and consequently it can provoke progression of the disease. Though much is known about the downstream effects of miRNA, the mechanisms that control the level of miRNA expression itself are not well documented. In this review, we will focus on how miRNAs are regulated as well as potential therapeutic targets that can be exploited for cancer therapy.


Cancer; Epigenetic; Pathobiology; Post-transcriptional; RNA structure; Regulation; SNPs; Single nucleotide polymorphisms; Transcriptional; miRNA; microRNA

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