MicroRNAs and drug modulation in cancer: An intertwined new story

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) which play important regulatory roles in physiological processes such as cellular differentiation, proliferation, development, apoptosis and stem cell self-renewal. An increasing number of papers have clearly claimed their involvement in cancer, providing, in some cases, also the molecular mechanisms implicated. Several studies led to the conclusion that miRNAs can be effectively used as anticancer agents alone or in combination with existing anticancer drugs. In particular, miRNAs can be effectively used to overcome drug resistance, one of the main factors responsible for anticancer treatment insuccess. One of the main questions remains how to modulate the expression of miRNAs in cancer cells. Interestingly, a few studies have shown that the expression of miRNAs is affected by drugs (including some drugs currently used as anticancer agents), therefore providing the rationale for an intertwined scenario in which miRNAs can be modulated by drugs and, in turn, can affect drug sensitivity of cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-356
Number of pages6
JournalFrontiers in Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • cancer
  • chemotherapy
  • miRNAs
  • multidrug resistance
  • transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics
  • Ecology


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