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MicroRNAs and Chronic Inflammation Contribution to Gastrointestinal Integrity

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Recent studies have revealed that chronic inflammation represents a major basis for different forms of human malignancies. Chronic inflammations are involved in the pathogenesis of 15-25% of human malignancies. Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer is one of the most common causes of mortality in the European Union. The mechanisms leading to cancer development and its progression are not completely understood. Advances are required both in early detection and therapy of GI cancers. There are many factors connecting inflammation and cancer. Cytokines that are small protein molecules regulating growth, differentiation, development and immune response mechanisms in cells. Overexpression of cyclooxynenase-2 is associated with decreased apoptosis, cell to cell adhesion, increased proliferation and angiogenesis contributes to the increased immunosuppresion and mediates carcinogenetic effects. MicroRNAs are regarded as a novel class of gene expression regulators. They are gene-silencing RNAs which negatively regulate gene expression. After binding to target mRNAs they lead either to mRNA destruction or inhibition of translation. Hence, they can play an important role in carcinogenesis. Currently, almost all of the miRNA-related studies on cancers based on the different expression profile of miRNAs in cancer cells compared to normal cells.

In summary, miRNAs, proinflammatory cytokines and other factors, may be involved in cancer development based on chronic inflammation by controlling cell differentiation and apoptosis. Assessing the role of miRNAs will provide the new insights on their contribution to the link between chronic inflammation and subsequent cancer, and new markers for cancer diagnoses and cancer therapy.

Keywords: Cancer; carcinogenesis; chronic inflammation; cytokines; differentiation; gene; miRNAs; microRNAs; proinflammatory

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/092986712803413999

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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