Current Progress on Understanding MicroRNAs in Glioblastoma Multiforme

Genes Cancer. 2012 Jan;3(1):3-15. doi: 10.1177/1947601912448068.


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an aggressive grade IV astrocytoma with a 1-year median survival rate despite current treatment modalities. A thorough understanding of the vast genetic aberrations and signaling pathways involved in gliomagenesis as well as heterogeneous clinicopathological presentation remains elusive. The recent discovery of microRNAs (miRs) and their capability of simultaneously regulating multiple downstream genes may play a key role in explaining the complex mechanisms underlying GBM formation. miRs are 19 to 25 nucleotide non-protein-coding small RNA molecules involved in the suppression of mRNA translation. This review will summarize and discuss the most recent findings regarding miRs in GBM including downstream targets, functional effects, and therapeutic potentials. Specifically discussed miRs include miR-7, miR-9/miR-9*, miR-10a/miR-10a*/miR-10b, miR-15b, miR-17-92, miR-21, miR-26a, miR-34a, miR-93, miR-101, miR-124, miR-125a, miR-125b, miR-128, miR-137, miR-146b-5p, miR-153, miR-181a/miR-181b, miR-196a/miR-196b, miR-218, miR-221/miR-222, miR-296, miR-302-367, miR-326, miR-381, miR-451, and let-7a. In addition to gene regulatory roles, miRs have demonstrated significant diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic potential. These small molecules may both help in the understanding of GBM and in developing new therapeutic options.

Keywords: GBM; glioma; miR; microarray; review.