MicroRNAs (miRs, miRNAs) are regulatory small noncoding RNAs, with their roles already confirmed to be important for post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression affecting cell physiology and disease development. Upregulation of a cancer-causing miRNA, known as oncogenic miRNA, has been found in many types of cancers and, therefore, represents a potential new class of targets for therapeutic inhibition. Several strategies have been developed in recent years to inhibit oncogenic miRNAs. Among them is a direct approach that targets mature oncogenic miRNA with an antisense sequence known as antimiR, which could be an oligonucleotide or miRNA sponge. In contrast, an indirect approach is to block the biogenesis of miRNA by genome editing using the CRISPR/Cas9 system or a small molecule inhibitor. The development of these inhibitors is straightforward but involves significant scientific and therapeutic challenges that need to be resolved. In this review, we summarize recent relevant studies on the development of miRNA inhibitors against cancer.
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