J. Clin. Med.2015, 4(9), 1713-1728; doi:10.3390/jcm4091713 - published 26 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Profound changes in microRNA (miR) expression levels are frequently found in liver cancers compared to the normal liver. In this study, we evaluate the expression of miR-224 in human HCC and CCA, as well as its downstream targets and affected pathways. We show that miR-224 is upregulated in a large cohort of human CCA, similar to its upregulation in human HCC. For the purpose of studying the roles of miR-224 in HCC and CCA, we enforced miR-224 expression in cells. mRNA arrays followed by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA)-identified putative molecules and pathways downstream of miR-224. Phenotypically, we report that enforced expression of miR-224 increases the growth rate of normal cholangiocytes, CCA cell lines, and HCC cell lines. In addition, we identified, in an unbiased fashion, that one of the major biologic processes affected by miR-224 is Gap1 (G1) to Synthesis (S) transition checkpoint release. We next identified p21, p15, and CCNE1 as downstream targets of miR-224 and confirmed the coordinated downregulation results in the increased phosphorylation of Retinoblastoma (Rb) with resulting G1/S checkpoint release. Our data suggest that miR-224 is a master regulator of cell cycle progression, and that its overexpression results in G1/S checkpoint release followed by accelerated cell growth.
J. Clin. Med.2015, 4(9), 1688-1712; doi:10.3390/jcm4091688 - published 26 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The cholangiopathies are a group of liver diseases resulting from different etiologies but with the cholangiocyte as the primary target. As a group, the cholangiopathies result in significant morbidity and mortality and represent one of the main indications for liver transplant in both children and adults. Contributing to this situation is the absence of a thorough understanding of their pathogenesis and a lack of adequate diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that modify gene expression post-transcriptionally. They have been implicated in the pathogenesis of many diseases, including the cholangiopathies. Thus, in this review we provide an overview of the literature on miRNAs in the cholangiopathies and discuss future research directions.
J. Clin. Med.2015, 4(9), 1668-1687; doi:10.3390/jcm4091668 - published 25 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: microRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of short, non-coding RNA molecules that drive a complex network of post-transcriptional gene regulation by enhancing target mRNA decay and/or inhibiting protein synthesis from mRNA transcripts. They regulate genes involved in key aspects of normal cell growth, development and the maintenance of body homeostasis and have been closely linked to the development and progression of human disease, in particular cancer. Over recent years there has been much interest regarding their potential as biomarkers and as therapeutic agents or targets. microRNA-7 (miR-7) is a 23 nucleotide (nt) miRNA known primarily to act as a tumour suppressor. miR-7 directly inhibits a number of oncogenic targets and impedes various aspects of cancer progression in vitro and in vivo, however, some studies have also implicated miR-7 in oncogenic roles. This review summarises the role of miR-7 in cancer, its potential in miRNA-based replacement therapy and its capacity as both a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker.
J. Clin. Med.2015, 4(8), 1651-1667; doi:10.3390/jcm4081651 - published 21 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs of 20 to 25 nucleotides that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally mainly by binding to a specific sequence of the 3′ end of the untranslated region (3′UTR) of target genes. Since the first report on the clinical relevance of miRNAs in cancer, many miRNAs have been demonstrated to act as oncogenes, whereas others function as tumor suppressors. Furthermore, global miRNA dysregulation, due to alterations in miRNA processing factors, has been observed in a large variety of human cancer types. As previous studies have shown, the sequential miRNA processing can be divided into three steps: processing by RNAse in the nucleus; transportation by Exportin-5 (XPO5) from the nucleus; and processing by the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) in the cytoplasm. Alteration in miRNA processing genes, by genomic mutations, aberrant expression or other means, could significantly affect cancer initiation, progression and metastasis. In this review, we focus on the biogenesis of miRNAs with emphasis on the potential of miRNA processing factors in human cancers.
J. Clin. Med.2015, 4(8), 1631-1650; doi:10.3390/jcm4081631 - published 18 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The discovery of small non-coding RNAs known as microRNAs has refined our view of the complexity of gene expression regulation. In hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the fifth most frequent cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide, dysregulation of microRNAs has been implicated in all aspects of hepatocarcinogenesis. In addition, alterations of microRNA expression have also been reported in non-cancerous liver diseases including chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis. MicroRNAs have been proposed as clinically useful diagnostic biomarkers to differentiate HCC from different liver pathologies and healthy controls. Unique patterns of microRNA expression have also been implicated as biomarkers for prognosis as well as to predict and monitor therapeutic responses in HCC. Since dysregulation has been detected in various specimens including primary liver cancer tissues, serum, plasma, and urine, microRNAs represent novel non-invasive markers for HCC screening and predicting therapeutic responses. However, despite a significant number of studies, a consensus on which microRNA panels, sample types, and methodologies for microRNA expression analysis have to be used has not yet been established. This review focuses on potential values, benefits, and limitations of microRNAs as new clinical markers for diagnosis, prognosis, prediction, and therapeutic monitoring in HCC.
J. Clin. Med.2015, 4(8), 1612-1630; doi:10.3390/jcm4081612 - published 14 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The growing attention that non-coding RNAs have attracted in the field of cancer research in recent years is undeniable. Whether investigated as prospective therapeutic targets or prognostic indicators or diagnostic biomarkers, the clinical relevance of these molecules is starting to emerge. In addition, identification of non-coding RNAs in a plethora of body fluids has further positioned these molecules as attractive non-invasive biomarkers. This review will first provide an overview of the synthetic cascade that leads to the production of the small non-coding RNAs microRNAs (miRNAs) and presents their strengths as biomarkers of disease. Our interest will next be directed at exploring the diagnostic utility of miRNAs in two types of cancer: the brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and breast cancer. Finally, we will discuss additional clinical implications associated with miRNA detection as well as introduce other non-coding RNAs that have generated recent interest in the cancer research community.