It has been recognized that miR-181a expression is dysregulated and intimately associated with clinical prognosis in a variety of human cancers. However, the direct role of miR-181a in tumor progression has been elusive. Moreover, mounting evidence has demonstrated that cellular apoptosis, a physiological process of programmed cell death, is disrupted in various categories of human malignancies. Multiple apoptosisrelated genes have been proven to act as the target genes of miR-181a. In this study, we hypothesize that miR-181a probably plays a potential role in modulating the procession and apoptosis of cancer cells. We performed a literature review and elucidated how miR-181a modulated cellular apoptosis, especially the malignant neoplasm cells. We also unraveled the potential role of miR-181a in the diagnosis, treatment and clinical prognosis of multiple human malignancies - miR-181a plays a pivotal role in the development, treatment and prognosis of patients suffering from malignant tumors. It also participates in the development of cancer partially by modulating cellular apoptosis.
Keywords: Bcl-2 family; P53; PRKCD; apoptosis; miR-181a.