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.
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