MicroRNAs and cancer

Semin Cancer Biol. 2003 Aug;13(4):253-8. doi: 10.1016/s1044-579x(03)00038-5.


The general basis of cancer is the loss of cell identity and inappropriate proliferation of cells. Classically, a universal paradigm in oncogenesis is the accumulation of mutations in the open reading frames of protein-encoding oncogenes and tumor suppressors. The identification of new classes of noncoding RNAs (ncRNA) important for development and cell homeostasis will likely change this current paradigm. Recent data suggests that a special class of ncRNAs called microRNAs might be involved in human disease. This review proposes a role for microRNAs in oncogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / physiology*
  • Neoplasms / etiology*


  • MicroRNAs