Epigenetic alterations of tumor marker microRNAs: towards new cancer therapies.
ABSTRACT MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of short noncoding RNAs that participate in mastering the balance of gene-regulating networks. By targeting and controlling expression of messenger RNA, miRNAs can control highly complex signal transduction pathways and other biological pathways. Unique aberrant expression of miRNA at each stage of cancer development suggests that miRNA could play a novel role in cancer diagnosis and therapeutic strategies. Accumulated information on epigenetic modification of miRNA suggests a promising platform for miRNA in cancer therapy. Clinical applications exploiting the understanding of miRNA's function will be the next great challenge in cancer research.