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The AAPS Journal

, 11:747 | Cite as

Therapeutic MicroRNA Strategies in Human Cancer

  • Chunsheng Li
  • Yi Feng
  • George Coukos
  • Lin Zhang
Review Article Theme: siRNA and microRNA: From Target Validation to Therapy

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are ~22 nucleotide long, noncoding, endogenous RNA molecules which exert their functions by base pairing with messenger RNAs (mRNAs), thereby regulate protein-coding gene expression. In eukaryotic cells, miRNAs play important roles in regulating biological processes such as proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and stem cell self-renewal. The human genome may contain as many as 1,000 miRNAs, and more than 700 of them have been identified. miRNAs are predicted to target up to one third of mRNAs. Each miRNA can target hundreds of transcripts directly or indirectly, while more than one miRNA can converge on a single transcript target. Therefore, the potential regulatory circuitry afforded by miRNA is enormous. Recently, mounting evidence implicates miRNAs as a new class of modulator for human tumor initiation and progression. Therefore, it has been proposed that manipulating miRNA activity and miRNA biogenesis may be a novel avenue for developing efficient therapies against cancer.

Key words

cancer microRNA noncoding RNA therapy 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by research grants from the Breast Cancer Alliance, the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, National Cancer Institute and Department of Defense. Many studies greatly contributed to our knowledge on miRNAs and their therapeutic value in cancer treatment, due to the space limitation of this review, we could not cite all these papers. We apologize for that.

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Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chunsheng Li
    • 1
  • Yi Feng
    • 3
  • George Coukos
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Lin Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Research on Early Detection and Cure of Ovarian CancerUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Abramson Family Cancer Research InstituteUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.University of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA

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