Small regulatory RNAs called microRNAs are proving to be powerful players in the control and development of cancer, and researchers are exploring their use in a variety of clinical applications.
“MicroRNAs are worthy of increased investigation in the diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy of human cancer,” said Curtis Harris, MD, chief of the Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis at the National Cancer Institute.
Less than a decade ago, scientists began studying the link between carcinogenesis and microRNAs. These tiny RNA sequences, which are about 20 nucleotides long, control gene activity and affect the expression of proteins by regulating the expression of complementary target messenger RNA.
Hampton T. Scientists Probe MicroRNAs’ Role in Cancer. JAMA. 2010;303(11):1025. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.271