Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 21, pp 3587–3599

MicroRNAs in breast cancer initiation and progression

Multi-author review

DOI: 10.1007/s00018-012-1128-9

Cite this article as:
Liu, H. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2012) 69: 3587. doi:10.1007/s00018-012-1128-9


The emerging role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the epigenetic regulation of many cellular processes has become recognized in both basic research and translational medicine as an important way that gene expression can be fine-tuned. Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer in women, with about one million new cases diagnosed each year worldwide. Starting with the early work of miRNA profiling, more effort has now been put on functions of miRNAs in normal mammary stem cells, breast cancer initiating cells and metastatic cells, and therapy-resistant cancer cells. Future translational studies may focus on identifying miRNA signatures as cancer biomarkers and developing miRNA-based targeted therapeutics.


MicroRNAsBreast cancer stem cellsMetastasisTherapy resistanceMiRNA biomarkersMiRNA therapeutics

Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Ben May Department for Cancer ResearchThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA