Human cancers are characterized by deregulated expression of multiple microRNAs (miRNAs), involved in essential pathways that confer the malignant cells their tumorigenic potential. Each miRNA can regulate hundreds of messenger RNAs (mRNAs), while various miRNAs can control the same mRNA. Additionally, many miRNAs regulate and are regulated by other species of non-coding RNAs, such as circular RNAs (circRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). For this reason, it is extremely difficult to predict, study, and analyze the precise role of a single miRNA involved in human cancer, considering the complexity of its connections. Focusing on a single miRNA molecule represents a limited approach. Additional information could come from network analysis, which has become a common tool in the biological field to better understand molecular interactions. In this review, we focus on the main types of networks (monopartite, association networks and bipartite) used for analyzing biological data related to miRNA function. We briefly present the important steps to take when generating networks, illustrating the theory with published examples and with future perspectives of how this approach can help to better select miRNAs that can be therapeutically targeted in cancer.
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