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Diverse roles of miR-29 in cancer (Review)

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microRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNAs which have the capacity to regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level, and have emerging as key factors involved in cancer at all stages ranging from initiation to metastasis. In the present review, we summmarize the diverse roles of the microRNA-29 (miR-29) family in cancer. First, we present a concise introduction to the miR-29 family and the expression profile of miR-29 in various cancer types. We next highlight the upstream regulatory pathway of miR-29 and describe the relationship between miR-29 and cancer in detail. As a tumor suppressor, miR-29 restrains cancer progression by promoting tumor cell apoptosis, by suppressing DNA methylation of tumor-suppressor genes, by reducing proliferation of tumors and by increasing chemosensitivity. However, as a tumor promoter, miR-29 mediates epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and promotes metastasis in breast cancer and colon cancer. Finally, we suggest that miR-29 represents a novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarker or a therapeutic target for cancer. Our review highlights the diverse relationship between miR-29 and cancer (particularly digestive system neoplasms). Further research of miR-29 in cancer is warranted.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Medical School, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210093, P.R. China 2: Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, The Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital, Medical School, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210008, P.R. China

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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