Obesity, Insulin Resistance, and Colorectal Cancer: Could miRNA Dysregulation Play a Role?

Francesca Cirillo, Cecilia Catellani, Chiara Sartori, Pietro Lazzeroni, Sergio Amarri, Maria Elisabeth Street

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Obesity is associated with insulin resistance and low-grade inflammation. Insulin resistance is a risk factor for cancer. A recent chapter in epigenetics is represented by microRNAs (miRNAs), which post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression. Dysregulated miRNA profiles have been associated with diseases including obesity and cancer. Herein we report dysregulated miRNAs in obesity both in animal models and in humans, and we also document dysregulated miRNAs in colorectal cancer (CRC), as example of an obesity-related cancer. Some of the described miRNAs are found to be similarly dysregulated both in obesity, insulin resistance (IR), and CRC. Thus, we present miRNAs as a potential molecular link between obesity and CRC onset and development, giving a new perspective on the role of miRNAs in obesity-associated cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2922
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 14 2019


  • Cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Inflammation
  • Insulin resistance
  • microRNA
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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