+1 Recommend
0 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Epigenetics and MicroRNAs in Cancer

      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


          The ability to reprogram the transcriptional circuitry by remodeling the three-dimensional structure of the genome is exploited by cancer cells to promote tumorigenesis. This reprogramming occurs because of hereditable chromatin chemical modifications and the consequent formation of RNA-protein-DNA complexes that represent the principal actors of the epigenetic phenomena. In this regard, the deregulation of a transcribed non-coding RNA may be both cause and consequence of a cancer-related epigenetic alteration. This review summarizes recent findings that implicate microRNAs in the aberrant epigenetic regulation of cancer cells.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 292

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: not found
          • Article: not found

          MicroRNAs: small RNAs with a big role in gene regulation.

           Sai-Lin He,  G Hannon (2004)
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Regulation of microRNA biogenesis.

             Nguyet M Ha,  V. Kim (2014)
            MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that function as guide molecules in RNA silencing. Targeting most protein-coding transcripts, miRNAs are involved in nearly all developmental and pathological processes in animals. The biogenesis of miRNAs is under tight temporal and spatial control, and their dysregulation is associated with many human diseases, particularly cancer. In animals, miRNAs are ∼22 nucleotides in length, and they are produced by two RNase III proteins--Drosha and Dicer. miRNA biogenesis is regulated at multiple levels, including at the level of miRNA transcription; its processing by Drosha and Dicer in the nucleus and cytoplasm, respectively; its modification by RNA editing, RNA methylation, uridylation and adenylation; Argonaute loading; and RNA decay. Non-canonical pathways for miRNA biogenesis, including those that are independent of Drosha or Dicer, are also emerging.
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              The miR-200 family and miR-205 regulate epithelial to mesenchymal transition by targeting ZEB1 and SIP1.

              Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) facilitates tissue remodelling during embryonic development and is viewed as an essential early step in tumour metastasis. We found that all five members of the microRNA-200 family (miR-200a, miR-200b, miR-200c, miR-141 and miR-429) and miR-205 were markedly downregulated in cells that had undergone EMT in response to transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta or to ectopic expression of the protein tyrosine phosphatase Pez. Enforced expression of the miR-200 family alone was sufficient to prevent TGF-beta-induced EMT. Together, these microRNAs cooperatively regulate expression of the E-cadherin transcriptional repressors ZEB1 (also known as deltaEF1) and SIP1 (also known as ZEB2), factors previously implicated in EMT and tumour metastasis. Inhibition of the microRNAs was sufficient to induce EMT in a process requiring upregulation of ZEB1 and/or SIP1. Conversely, ectopic expression of these microRNAs in mesenchymal cells initiated mesenchymal to epithelial transition (MET). Consistent with their role in regulating EMT, expression of these microRNAs was found to be lost in invasive breast cancer cell lines with mesenchymal phenotype. Expression of the miR-200 family was also lost in regions of metaplastic breast cancer specimens lacking E-cadherin. These data suggest that downregulation of the microRNAs may be an important step in tumour progression.

                Author and article information

                Int J Mol Sci
                Int J Mol Sci
                International Journal of Molecular Sciences
                03 February 2018
                February 2018
                : 19
                : 2
                [1 ]Ageing Research Center and Translational Medicine-CeSI-MeT, 66100 Chieti, Italy; alice.ramassone@ (A.R.); sara.pagotto@ (S.P.)
                [2 ]Department of Medical, Oral and Biotechnological Sciences, G. d’Annunzio University Chieti-Pescara, 66100 Chieti, Italy
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: a.veronese@ (A.V.); r.visone@ (R.V.); Tel.: +39-0871-541-508 (A.V.); +39-0871-541-498 (R.V.); Fax: +39-0871-541-498 (R.V.)

                These authors contributed equally to this work.

                © 2018 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


                Molecular biology

                human cancer, epigenetics, micrornas


                Comment on this article