Author(s): Sarkar FH, Li Y, Wang Z, Kong D, Ali S
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Abstract Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) have received increasing attention in the field of cancer research. miRNAs play important roles in many normal biological processes; however, the aberrant miRNA expression and its correlation with the development and progression of cancers is an emerging field. Therefore, miRNAs could be used as biomarkers for diagnosis of cancer and prediction of prognosis. Importantly, some miRNAs could regulate the formation of cancer stem cells and the acquisition of epithelial-mesenchymal transition, which are critically associated with drug resistance. Moreover, some miRNAs could target genes related to drug sensitivity, resulting in the altered sensitivity of cancer cells to anti-cancer drugs. Emerging evidences have also shown that knock-down or re-expression of specific miRNAs by synthetic anti-sense oligonucleotides or pre-miRNAs could induce drug sensitivity, leading to increased inhibition of cancer cell growth, invasion, and metastasis. More importantly, recent studies have shown that natural agents including isoflavone, 3,3'-diindolylmethane, and (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate altered miRNA expression profiles, leading to an increased sensitivity of cancer cells to conventional therapeutics. These emerging results suggest that specific targeting of miRNAs by different approaches could open new avenues for cancer treatment through overcoming drug resistance and thereby improve the outcome of cancer therapy. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Drug Resist Updat
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology