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Hepatic MicroRNA Orchestra: A New Diagnostic, Prognostic and Theranostic Tool for Hepatocarcinogenesis

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MicroRNAs are evolutionary conserved single stranded non-coding RNAs with immense ability to posttranscriptionally regulate gene expression via complementary base pairing with mRNAs of more than 50% protein encoding genes. They play diverse roles in physiological and pathophysiological processes such as normal development and cancer pathogenesis respectively. Recent investigations have focused on the identification and characterization of microRNAs aberrantly expressed in cancer and their target molecules that are critically involved in the initiation, progression and development of carcinogenesis as possible diagnostic, prognostic and theranostic (Integration of biomarker use as diagnostic tools and target-specific therapies to enhance selective and individualized therapy) tools to augment conventional cancer therapeutic armamentarium. In this mini review, we bring to focus the intricate interactions between microRNAs aberrantly expressed in hepatocarcinogenesis and their interactions with the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β)/Small mother against decapentaplegic (Smad) and the mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) signaling pathways. Importantly, we highlight microRNA-Specific targets as possible biomarkers for prognosis, diagnosis and as therapeutic targets for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) while at the same time exploring new directions for future investigations.
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Keywords: Hepatocarcinogenesis; MAPK; MicroRNA Therapeutics; Smad; TGF-β

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2014-08-01

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  • The aim of Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry is to publish short reviews on the important recent developments in medicinal chemistry and allied disciplines.

    The scope of Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry will cover all areas of medicinal chemistry including developments in rational drug design, synthetic chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, high-throughput screening, combinatorial chemistry, drug targets, and natural product research and structure-activity relationship studies.

    Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal and pharmaceutical chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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