MicroRNAs: regulators of cancer metastasis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)

Xiang-Ming Ding
Chinese Journal of Cancer 2014, 33 (3): 140-7
Tumor metastasis is the main cause of death in patients with solid tumors. The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process, in which epithelial cells are converted into mesenchymal cells, is frequently activated during cancer invasion and metastasis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs that provide widespread expressional control by repressing mRNA translation and inducing mRNA degradation. The fundamental roles of miRNAs in tumor growth and metastasis have been increasingly well recognized. A growing number of miRNAs are reported to regulate tumor invasion/metastasis through EMT-related and/or non-EMT- related mechanisms. In this review, we discuss the functional role and molecular mechanism of miRNAs in regulating cancer metastasis and EMT.

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