Journal Article

MicroRNA in colorectal cancer: from benchtop to bedside

William K.K. Wu, Priscilla T.Y. Law, Chung W. Lee, Chi H. Cho, Daiming Fan, Kaichun Wu, Jun Yu and Joseph J.Y. Sung

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 32, issue 3, pages 247-253
Published in print March 2011 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online November 2010 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgq243
MicroRNA in colorectal cancer: from benchtop to bedside

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Colon carcinogenesis represents a stepwise progression from benign polyps to invasive adenocarcinomas and distant metastasis. It is believed that these pathologic changes are contributed by aberrant activation or inactivation of protein-coding proto-oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. However, recent discoveries in microRNA (miRNA) research have reshaped our understanding of the role of non-protein-coding genes in carcinogenesis. In this regard, a remarkable number of miRNAs exhibit differential expression in colon cancer tissues. These miRNAs alter cell proliferation, apoptosis and metastasis through their interactions with intracellular signaling networks. From a clinical perspective, polymorphisms within miRNA-binding sites are associated with the risk for colon cancer, whereas miRNAs isolated from feces or blood may serve as biomarkers for early diagnosis. Altered expression of miRNA or polymorphisms in miRNA-related genes have also been shown to correlate with patient survival or treatment outcome. With further insights into miRNA dysregulation in colon cancer and the advancement of RNA delivery technology, it is anticipated that novel miRNA-based therapeutics will emerge.

Journal Article.  5456 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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