Role of microRNAs in malignant mesothelioma

A. Truini, S. Coco, A. Alama, C. Genova, C. Sini, M. G. Dal Bello, G. Barletta, E. Rijavec, G. Burrafato, F. Boccardo, F. Grossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive tumor, mainly derived from the pleura, which is predominantly associated with exposure to asbestos fibers. The prognosis of MM patients is particularly severe, with a median survival of approximately 9-12 months and latency between exposure and diagnosis ranging from 20-50 years (median 30 years). Emerging evidence has demonstrated that tumor aggressiveness is associated with genome and gene expression abnormalities; therefore, several studies have recently focused on the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in MM tumorigenesis. miRNAs are small non-protein coding single-stranded RNAs (17-22 nucleotides) involved in numerous cellular processes that negatively regulate gene expression by modulating the expression of downstream target genes. miRNAs are often deregulated in cancer; in particular, the differential miRNA expression profiles of MM cells compared to unaffected mesothelial cells have suggested potential roles of miRNAs as either oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes in MM oncogenesis. In this review, the mechanism of MM carcinogenesis was evaluated through the analysis of the published miRNA expression data. The roles of miRNAs as diagnostic biomarkers and prognostic factors for potential therapeutic strategies will be presented and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2865-2878
Number of pages14
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Differential expression
  • Malignant mesothelioma
  • microRNAs
  • Prognostic markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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