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Emerging Role of MicroRNAs in Cancer and Cancer Stem Cells

Authors

  • Jin Hao,

    1. Department of Orthodontics, State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Hospital of Stomatology, West China School of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
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  • Sen Zhao,

    1. Department of Orthodontics, State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Hospital of Stomatology, West China School of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
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  • Yueling Zhang,

    1. Department of Orthodontics, State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Hospital of Stomatology, West China School of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
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  • Zhihe Zhao,

    1. Department of Orthodontics, State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Hospital of Stomatology, West China School of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
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  • Rui Ye,

    1. Department of Orthodontics, State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Hospital of Stomatology, West China School of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
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  • Jianing Wen,

    1. West China School of Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
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  • Juan Li

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Orthodontics, State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Hospital of Stomatology, West China School of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
    • Correspondence to: Juan Li, Department of Orthodontics, State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Stomatology Hospital, Sichuan University, #14, 3rd Section of Renmin South Road, Chengdu 610041, P.R. China.

      E-mail: lijuan@scu.edu.cn

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  • Jin Hao and Sen Zhao contributed equally to this work.
  • The authors declare no conflict of interest.

ABSTRACT

Cancer stem cells (CSCs), or cancer cells with stem cell properties, represent a small fraction of tumor bulk and are thought to be responsible for tumor formation and metastasis. However, the mechanisms of how CSCs are generated and regulated at the molecular level are poorly understood. Recent progress has highlighted the significance of microRNAs (miRNAs) in cancer progression and CSC function. The function and dysfunction of miRNAs in the development of cancer and CSCs have become a burgeoning area of intense research. A new finding has elucidated a mechanism of antagonistic miRNA crosstalk whereby one miRNA can inhibit another miRNA in regulating CSCs. Herein we make this short review to summarize the current understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of miRNAs in cancer and CSCs and discuss the implications of targeting CSCs for cancer therapeutics. J. Cell. Biochem. 115: 605–610, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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