microRNAs are a family of endogenous, short, non-coding RNAs that play critical roles in regulating gene expression for key cellular processes in normal and abnormal physiology. microRNA-7 is a 23 nucleotide miRNA whose expression is tightly regulated and restricted predominantly to the brain, spleen and pancreas. Reduced levels of miR-7 have been linked to the development of cancer and metastasis. As a tumor suppressor, miR-7 functions to co-ordinately downregulate a number of direct (e.g. the epidermal growth factor receptor) and indirect (e.g. phospho-Akt) growth promoting targets to decrease tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. In addition, miR-7 can increase the sensitivity of treatment-resistant cancer cells to therapeutics and inhibit metastasis. These data suggest that replacement of miR-7 (‘miRNA replacement therapy’) for specific human cancers could represent a new treatment approach.
|Journal||International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology|
|Early online date||5 Jun 2014|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2014|