Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 21, pp 3587–3599 | Cite as

MicroRNAs in breast cancer initiation and progression

Multi-author review

Abstract

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.

Keywords

MicroRNAs Breast cancer stem cells Metastasis Therapy resistance MiRNA biomarkers MiRNA therapeutics 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I am thankful to Dr. Geoffrey Greene, Jessica Bockhorn and Simo Huang in the Greene laboratory, Dr. Yin-yuan Mo, Dr. John Kokontis, and Dr. Richard Hiipakka who read and edited the manuscript. This was supported in part by Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program W81XWH-09-1-0331, Paul Calabresi K12 Award 1K12CA139160-02, Chicago Fellows Program at the University of Chicago, and the University of Chicago Clinical and Translational Science Award (UL1 RR024999).

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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2012

Authors and Affiliations

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

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