miRNA control of apoptotic programs: Focus on ovarian cancer

Delia Mezzanzanica, Silvana Canevari, Loris De Cecco, Marina Bagnoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

miRNAs are a class of small non-coding RNAs that regulate the stability or translational efficiency of targeted mRNAs. miRNAs are involved in many cellular processes, such as differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis, which are altered in cancer through miRNA expression dysregulation. In this article we will discuss recent findings implicating miRNAs in apoptotic program regulation using ovarian carcinoma as an example. Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological malignancy. Most patients are diagnosed with advanced disease that is conventionally managed with surgical resection followed by platinum-based chemotherapy. Killing of cancer cells by chemotherapeutic agents or by triggering cell-surface death receptors relies on activation of apoptotic programs executed through receptor-mediated extrinsic pathways and mitochondrial-dependent intrinsic pathways. Despite an initial good response to chemotherapy, ovarian cancer patients typically experience disease relapse within 2 years of the initial treatment developing resistance even to structurally different drugs. Thus, also in this pathology, tumor cells are able to evade apoptosis using multiple mechanisms, several of which are dependent on miRNA gene regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-286
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Review of Molecular Diagnostics
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

Keywords

  • apoptosis
  • apoptosis regulation
  • drug resistance
  • microRNA
  • miRNA
  • ovarian cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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