MiRNAs and cancer

Am J Pathol. 2009 Apr;174(4):1131-8. doi: 10.2353/ajpath.2009.080794. Epub 2009 Mar 5.


Cancer is the result of a complex multistep process that involves the accumulation of sequential alterations of several genes, including those encoding microRNAs (miRNAs). miRNAs are a class of 17- to 27-nucleotide single-stranded RNA molecules that regulate gene expression posttranscriptionally. A large body of evidence implicates aberrant miRNA expression patterns in most, if not all, human malignancies. This article reviews our current knowledge about miRNAs, focusing on their involvement in cancer and their potential as diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic tools.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*


  • MicroRNAs