MicroRNAs and their target gene networks in breast cancer

Breast Cancer Res. 2010;12(2):201. doi: 10.1186/bcr2484. Epub 2010 Mar 19.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a major class of small endogenous RNA molecules that post-transcriptionally inhibit gene expression. Many miRNAs have been implicated in several human cancers, including breast cancer. Here we describe the association between altered miRNA signatures and breast cancer tumorigenesis and metastasis. The loss of several tumor suppressor miRNAs (miR-206, miR-17-5p, miR-125a, miR-125b, miR-200, let-7, miR-34 and miR-31) and the overexpression of certain oncogenic miRNAs (miR-21, miR-155, miR-10b, miR-373 and miR-520c) have been observed in many breast cancers. The gene networks orchestrated by these miRNAs are still largely unknown, although key targets have been identified that may contribute to the disease phenotype. Here we report how the observed perturbations in miRNA expression profiles may lead to disruption of key pathways involved in breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Regulatory Networks*
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / genetics


  • ESR1 protein, human
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • MIRN206 microRNA, human
  • MIRN21 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2