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Regulating miRNA by Natural Agents as a New Strategy for Cancer Treatment

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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small single-strand non-coding endogenous RNAs that regulate gene expression by multiple mechanisms. Recent evidence suggests that miRNAs are critically involved in the pathogenesis, evolution, and progression of cancer. The miRNAs are also crucial for the regulation of cancer stem cells (CSCs). In addition, miRNAs are known to control the processes of Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) of cancer cells. This evidence suggests that miRNAs could serve as targets in cancer treatment, and as such manipulating miRNAs could be useful for the killing CSCs or reversal of EMT phenotype of cancer cells. Hence, targeting miRNAs, which are deregulated in cancer, could be a promising strategy for cancer therapy. Recently, the regulation of miRNAs by natural, nontoxic chemopreventive agents including curcumin, resveratrol, isoflavones, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), lycopene, 3,3’- diindolylmethane (DIM), and indole-3-carbinol (I3C) has been described. Therefore, natural agents could inhibit cancer progression, increase drug sensitivity, reverse EMT, and prevent metastasis though modulation of miRNAs, which will provide a newer therapeutic approach for cancer treatment especially when combined with conventional therapeutics.
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Keywords: Cancer stem cell; epithelial to mesenchymal transition; microRNA; natural agent

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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