, Volume 71, Issue 1, pp 411–425 | Cite as

Therapeutic microRNAs in human cancer

  • Gizem Ors-KumogluEmail author
  • Sultan Gulce-Iz
  • Cigir Biray-Avci
Review Article


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are RNA molecules at about 22 nucleotide in length that are non-coding, which regulate gene expression in the post-transcriptional level by performing degradation or blocks translation of the target mRNA. It is known that they play roles in mechanisms such as metabolic regulation, embryogenesis, organogenesis, differentiation and growth control by providing post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. With these properties, miRNAs play important roles in the regulation of biological processes such as proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, drug resistance mechanisms in eukaryotic cells. In addition, there are miRNAs that can be used for cancer therapy. Tumor cells and tumor microenvironment have different miRNA expression profiles. Some miRNAs are known to play a role in the onset and progression of the tumor. miRNAs with oncogenic or tumor suppressive activity specific to different cancer types are still being investigated. This review summarizes the role of miRNAs in tumorigenesis, therapeutic strategies in human cancer and current studies.


Cancer therapy miRNA mimic miRNA antagonists miRNA sponges miRNA masking 





RNA-induced silencing complex


Oncogenic miRNA


Tumor suppressor miRNA


Unstranslated region(s)


Anti-miRNA oligonucleotides


Non-small-cell lung cancer


miRNA antagonists


Phosphatase and tensin homolog


Vascular epidermal growth factor


Suppressor of cytokine signaling 1


Anti-miRNA oligonucleotides


Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated potassium channel 1



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Bioengineering, Faculty of EngineeringEge UniversityIzmirTurkey
  2. 2.Biomedical Technologies Graduate Programme, Institute of Natural and Applied SciencesEge UniversityIzmirTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of MedicineEge UniversityIzmirTurkey

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