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Great Potential of MicroRNA in Cancer Stem Cell

Author(s): MicroGene H. P. Xia

Journal: Journal of Cancer Molecules
ISSN 1816-0735

Volume: 4;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 79;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: microRNA | cancer stem cells | embryonic stem cells

MicroRNA (miRNA) and cancer stem cell (CSC) are two scientific areas of intense interest at present. miRNAs are a class of endogenous, small non-protein coding RNA molecules, which are crucial post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. miRNAs participate in a wide range of biological functions, including cellular proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. Therefore, miRNAs play an important role in various human diseases, including cancer. CSCs are those cells within a tumor that possesses the capacity to self-renew and differentiate to cause the heterogeneous lineages of cancer cells that comprise the tumor. CSCs are regarded as the root of cancer origin and recurrence. Many studies have shown that the important roles of miRNAs in various cancers as well as self-renewal and differentiation of embryonic and tissue-specific stem cells. miRNAs would also have crucial regulatory roles in CSCs, a kind of tumor initiating cells. Therefore, these fields have been cited as important advancements because of their potential to further elucidate diseases and therapeutic perspective. This review will attempt to summarize the recent progress about miRNAs in cancers as well as stem cells, and to prospect the great potential of miRNAs in CSCs.
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