MicroRNAs (miRNAs) in cancer proliferation: Molecular interactions and possible therapeutic targets

Salimimoghadam, Shokooh; Paskeh, Mahshid Deldar Abad; Mirzaei, Sepideh; Hashemi, Mehrdad; Kalu, Azuma and Nabavi, Noushin (2023). MicroRNAs (miRNAs) in cancer proliferation: Molecular interactions and possible therapeutic targets. In: Sethi, Gautam and Ashrafizadeh, Milad eds. Non-coding RNA Transcripts in Cancer Therapy: Pre-clinical and Clinical Implications. World Scientific, pp. 1–27.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1142/9789811267390_0001


Cancer is one of the most life-threatening diseases worldwide and is characterized by uncontrolled cell division, suppressed cell death, promoted metastasis, and angiogenesis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are single-stranded RNA molecules at ∼22 nucleotides in length belonging to the family of small non-coding RNAs. They exert critical regulatory roles in cells and shape various cellular activities. Tumor suppressor miRNAs work in a way to suppress oncogenic pathways, while tumor-promoting miRNAs mediate genes responsible for oncogenesis and suppress tumor inhibitory genes. However, there are miRNAs with dual roles in suppressing or promoting tumor growth in different cancer types. miRNAs regulate gene expression and protein function in cells by targeting mainly the 3′ untranslated region of a gene. Studies on the role of miRNAs in cancer illuminate the complex interaction between miRNAs and pathways involved in cancer. This chapter reviews the current knowledge regarding the importance and role of miRNAs in cancer focusing on proliferation, apoptosis, autophagy, and cell cycle arrest.

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