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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2018;1056:87-108. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-74470-4_6.

MicroRNAs, Regulatory Messengers Inside and Outside Cancer Cells.

Author information

1
Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA. sanfossi@mdanderson.org.
2
Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.
3
Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA. gcalin@mdanderson.org.

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of short non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) with typical sequence lengths of 19-25 nucleotides and extraordinary abilities to regulate gene expression. Because miRNAs regulate multiple important biological functions of the cell (proliferation, migration, invasion, apoptosis, differentiation, and drug resistance), their expression is highly controlled. Genetic and epigenetic alterations frequently found in cancer cells can cause aberrant expression of miRNAs and, consequently, of their target genes. The tumor microenvironment can also affect miRNA expression through soluble factors (e.g., cytokines and growth factors) secreted by either tumor cells or non-tumor cells (such as immune and stromal cells). Furthermore, like hormones, miRNAs can be secreted and regulate gene expression in recipient cells. Altered expression levels of miRNAs in cancer cells determine the acquisition of fundamental biological capabilities (hallmarks of cancer) responsible for the development and progression of the disease.

KEYWORDS:

Cell-to-cell communication; Epigenetic; Exosomes; Genetic; Immunology; Regulation; Tumor microenvironment; miRNAs; ncRNAs

PMID:
29754176
DOI:
10.1007/978-3-319-74470-4_6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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