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Cancers (Basel). 2011 Apr 8;3(2):1877-98. doi: 10.3390/cancers3021877.

Recent Advance in Biosensors for microRNAs Detection in Cancer.

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1
Istituto per l'Endocrinologia e l'Oncologia Sperimentale del CNR ''G. Salvatore'', Via S. Pansini 5, 80131 Naples, Italy. defranci@unina.it.

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-protein-coding RNA molecules that regulate the expression of a wide variety of genes. They act by sequence-specific base pairing in the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of the target mRNA leading to mRNA degradation or translation inhibition. Recent studies have implicated miRNAs in a wide range of biological processes and diseases including development, metabolism and cancer, and revealed that expression levels of individual miRNAs may serve as reliable molecular biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and prognosis. Therefore, a major challenge is to develop innovative tools able to couple high sensitivity and specificity for rapid detection of miRNAs in a given cell or tissue. In this review, we focus on the latest innovative approaches proposed for miRNA profiling in cancer and discuss their advantages and disadvantages.

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