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MicroRNAs as Therapeutic Targets for Cancer

  • Guofeng Cheng
  • Michael Danquah
  • Ram I. Mahato
Chapter

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a recently discovered family of endogenous, non-coding RNA molecules approximately 22 nt in length [1]. They negatively modulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by binding to the complementary sequence in the 3′ untranslated region of target messenger RNAs (mRNAs) [1]. miRNAs are transcribed from genomic DNA by RNA polymerase II but not further translated into protein (non-coding RNA). Eventually, they are processed from primary transcripts known as pri-miRNAs to short stem-loop structures called pre-miRNA and finally to become functionally mature miRNA. Mature miRNA molecules are partially complimentary to target mRNA where they either repress translation or direct destructive cleavage [2]. The first miRNA was described in 1993 by Lee and colleagues, who found miRNA-lin-4 is essential for the normal temporal control of diverse post-embryonic development in Caenorhabditis elegans by negatively regulating the level of LIN-14 protein via antisense RNA–RNA interaction [3]. miRNAs have a large-scale effect as a new layer of gene regulation mechanism. It has been estimated that the vertebrate genome encodes up to 1000 unique miRNAs, which can regulate expression of at least 30% of genes [4,5].

Keywords

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia miRNA Expression miRNA Target miRNA Profile miRNA Expression Profile 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guofeng Cheng
    • 1
  • Michael Danquah
    • 2
  • Ram I. Mahato
    • 2
  1. 1.Shanghai Research Center for Animal BiotechnologyShanghaiChina, 200232
  2. 2.Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of Tennessee Health Science CenterMemphisUSA

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