MicroRNAs, an active and versatile group in cancers

Jeffrey Liu, Min Zheng, Yaling Tang, Xinhua Liang, Qin Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


microRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of noncoding RNAs that function as endogenous triggers of the RNA interference pathway. Studies have shown that thousands of human proteincoding genes are regulated by miRNAs, indicating that miRNAs are master regulators of many important biological processes, such as cancer development. miRNAs frequently have deregulated expression in many types of human cancers, and play critical roles in tumorigenesis, which functions either as tumor suppressors or as oncogenes. Recent studies have shown that miRNAs are highly related with cancer progression, including initiating, growth, apoptosis, invasion, and metastasis. Furthermore, miRNAs are shown to be responsible for the cancerrelated inflammation, anticancer drug resistance, and regulation of cancer stem cells. Therefore, miRNAs have generated great interest as a novel strategy in cancer diagnosis and therapy. Here we review the versatile roles of miRNAs in cancers and their potential applications for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment as biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-175
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Oral Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • cancer
  • cancer stem cells
  • drug resistance
  • epithelial-mesenchymal transition
  • inflammation
  • microRNAs


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