Biogenesis and Function Mechanisms of Micro-RNAs and Their Role as Oncogenes and Tumor Suppressors

  • Soken Tsuchiya
  • Kazuya Terasawa
  • Ryo Kunimoto
  • Yasushi Okuno
  • Fumiaki Sato
  • Kazuharu Shimizu
  • Gozoh Tsujimoto
Conference paper

Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are evolutionarily conserved small noncoding RNAs (20– 23 nucleotides). MiRNAs regulate various physiological pathways such as differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis by negative regulation of the gene expressions at the posttranscriptional level [1–3]. Currently, more than 800 human miRNAs have been identified and registered in the miRNA database miRBase [4]. Strikingly, 30% of protein-coding transcripts in humans is predicted to be regulated by miR-NAs [5,6]. Recently, miRNAs have been reported to work as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes and be directly involved in the initiation, progression, and metastasis of various cancers [7–9]. Therefore, we focus on the role that miRNAs play in cancer and the use of miRNAs in drug discovery. Collection of evidence suggests that miRNAs can be potentially useful for understanding tumorigenesis and finding novel strategies for cancer diagnosis and therapy.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Soken Tsuchiya
    • 1
  • Kazuya Terasawa
    • 2
  • Ryo Kunimoto
    • 3
  • Yasushi Okuno
    • 3
  • Fumiaki Sato
    • 1
  • Kazuharu Shimizu
    • 1
  • Gozoh Tsujimoto
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Nanobio Drug Discovery, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical SciencesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Genomic Drug Discovery ScienceKyoto UniversitySakyo-kuJapan
  3. 3.Department of PharmacoInformatics, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical SciencesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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