The oncogenic and tumour suppressive roles of microRNAs in cancer and apoptosis
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding, endogenous RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. MiRNAs play important roles in regulating a variety of biological process such as proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. It has been demonstrated that miRNAs have a crucial function in oncogenesis by regulating cell proliferation and apoptosis as oncogenes or tumour suppressors. As several reports have underlined the possible contribution of miRNAs to promote or evade apoptosis, it seems that the dysregulation of miRNAs involved in apoptosis may provide a mechanism for cancer development. Given emerging evidence that points to oncogenic and tumour suppressive roles of miRNAs in cancer and apoptosis, it is thought that manipulating miRNA expression level may be a potential therapeutic strategy for curing cancer. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.