Potential role of micro-RNAs in head and neck tumorigenesis

Authors

  • Nham Tran PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Sydney Head and Neck Cancer Institute and Sydney Cancer Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
    2. The Centenary Institute, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
    • The Sydney Head and Neck Cancer Institute and Sydney Cancer Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Christopher J. O'Brien AO, AM, MS, MD, FRCS (Hon), FRCS,

    1. The Sydney Head and Neck Cancer Institute and Sydney Cancer Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
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    • Deceased.

  • Jonathan Clark MBBS, BSc (Med), FRACS,

    1. The Sydney Head and Neck Cancer Institute and Sydney Cancer Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Barbara Rose PhD

    1. The Sydney Head and Neck Cancer Institute and Sydney Cancer Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
    2. Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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Abstract

A new class of regulatory molecules known as microRNAs (miRNAs) is redefining our understanding of the molecular pathways associated with tumorigenesis. These miRNAs are small noncoding RNA (ncRNA) sequences with potent regulatory potential. The aberrant expression of miRNAs has been associated with the development of various tumors. It has been suggested that miRNAs can both regulate and act as tumor-suppressor genes and oncogenes. Our understanding of the role of miRNAs in head and neck tumorigenesis is in its infancy. However, several recent studies have revealed extensive dysregulation of miRNA in head and neck tumors and have highlighted the potential of certain miRNAs to act as diagnostic and prognostic markers and targets for new therapeutic agents. The intent of this review is to discuss and summarize current findings that point to a significant role for miRNAs in head and neck tumorigenesis. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2010

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