MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-protein-coding short single stranded RNAs in the size range 19-25 nucleotides that are associated with gene regulation at the transcriptional and translational level. Recent studies have proved that miRNAs play important roles in a large number of biological processes, including cellular differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis, etc. Changes in their expression were found in a variety of human cancers, including renal cell carcinoma pathogenesis. Specific miRNA alterations were associated with key pathogenetic mechanisms of renal cell carcinoma like hypoxia or epithelial-mesenchymal transition. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of miRNA functions in renal cell carcinoma with an emphasis on miRNAs potential to serve as a powerful biomarker of disease and a novel therapeutic target in oncology.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.