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Cancers 2011, 3(4), 3957-3971; doi:10.3390/cancers3043957

Emerging Evidence for MicroRNAs as Regulators of Cancer Stem Cells

Department of Pathology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 August 2011 / Revised: 1 October 2011 / Accepted: 13 October 2011 / Published: 24 October 2011
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Cancer stem cells are defined as a subpopulation of cells within a tumor that are capable of self-renewal and differentiation into the heterogeneous cell lineages that comprise the tumor. Many studies indicate that cancer stem cells may be responsible for treatment failure and relapse in cancer patients. The factors that regulate cancer stem cells are not well defined. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that regulate translational repression and transcript degradation. miRNAs play a critical role in embryonic and inducible pluripotent stem cell regulation and emerging evidence supports their role in cancer stem cell evolution. To date, miRNAs have been shown to act either as tumor suppressor genes or oncogenes in driving critical gene expression pathways in cancer stem cells in a wide range of human malignancies, including hematopoietic and epithelial tumors and sarcomas. miRNAs involved in cancer stem cell regulation provide attractive, novel therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. This review attempts to summarize progress to date in defining the role of miRNAs in cancer stem cells.
Keywords: microRNAs; cancer stem cells microRNAs; cancer stem cells
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Sethi, A.; Sholl, L.M. Emerging Evidence for MicroRNAs as Regulators of Cancer Stem Cells. Cancers 2011, 3, 3957-3971.

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