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Curr Mol Med. 2019;19(9):621-631. doi: 10.2174/1566524019666190723165357.

Small Regulatory Molecules Acting Big in Cancer: Potential Role of Mito-miRs in Cancer.

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Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Department of Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Central University of Punjab, Mansa Road, Bathinda 151001, Punjab, India.
Centre for Systems Biology and Bioinformatics, Panjab University, Sector-25, Chandigarh 160014, India.


MicroRNAs [miRNAs] are short, non-coding, single stranded RNA molecules regulating gene expression of their targets at the posttranscriptional level by either degrading mRNA or by inhibiting translation. Previously, miRNAs have been reported to be present inside the mitochondria and these miRNAs have been termed as mito-miRs. Origin of these mito-miRs may either be from mitochondrial genome or import from nucleus. The second class of mito-miRs makes it important to unravel the involvement of miRNAs in crosstalk between nucleus and mitochondria. Since miRNAs are involved in various physiological processes, their deregulation is often associated with disease progression, including cancer. The current review focuses on the involvement of miRNAs in different mitochondrial mediated processes. It also highlights the importance of exploring the interaction of miRNAs with mitochondrial genome, which may lead to the development of small regulatory RNA based therapeutic options.


cancer; chemoresistance; metabolism; miRNAs; mitochondria; nanoparticles.

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