MicroRNAs in breast cancer: Roles, functions, and mechanism of actions

J Cell Physiol. 2020 Jun;235(6):5008-5029. doi: 10.1002/jcp.29396. Epub 2019 Nov 14.


Breast cancer is one of the most lethal malignancies in women in the world. Various factors are involved in the development and promotion of the malignancy; most of them involve changes in the expression of certain genes, such as microRNAs (miRNAs). MiRNAs can regulate signaling pathways negatively or positively, thereby affecting tumorigenesis and various aspects of cancer progression, particularly breast cancer. Besides, accumulating data demonstrated that miRNAs are a novel tool for prognosis and diagnosis of breast cancer patients. Herein, we will review the roles of these RNA molecules in several important signaling pathways, such as transforming growth factor, Wnt, Notch, nuclear factor-κ B, phosphoinositide-3-kinase/Akt, and extracellular-signal-regulated kinase/mitogen activated protein kinase signaling pathways in breast cancer.

Keywords: biomarker; cancer; diagnosis; microRNAs; prognosis; signal pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carcinogenesis / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • NF-kappa B / genetics
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase / genetics
  • Receptors, Notch / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Wnt Proteins / genetics


  • MicroRNAs
  • NF-kappa B
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase