Role of miRNAs in prostate cancer: Do we really know everything?

Urol Oncol. 2020 Jul;38(7):623-635. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2020.03.007. Epub 2020 Apr 10.


Many different genetic alterations, as well as complex epigenetic interactions, are the basis of the genesis and progression of prostate cancer (CaP). This is the reason why until now the molecular pathways related to development of this cancer were only partly known, and even less those that determine aggressive or indolent tumour behaviour. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent a class of about 22 nucleotides long, small non-coding RNAs, which are involved in gene expression regulation at the post-transcriptional level. MiRNAs play a crucial role in regulating several biological functions and preserving homeostasis, as they carry out a wide modulatory activity on various molecular signalling pathways. MiRNA genes are placed in cancer-related genomic regions or in fragile sites, and they have been proven to be involved in the main steps of carcinogenesis as oncogenes or oncosuppressors in many types of cancer, including CaP. We performed a narrative review to describe the relationship between miRNAs and the crucial steps of development and progression of CaP. The aims of this study were to improve the knowledge regarding the mechanisms underlying miRNA expression and their target genes, and to contribute to understanding the relationship between miRNA expression profiles and CaP.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Carcinogenesis; Metastasis; MicroRNA; Prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*


  • MicroRNAs