MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous non-coding small RNAs that downregulate target gene expression by imperfect base-pairing with the 3′ untranslated regions (3′UTRs) of target gene mRNAs. MiRNAs play important roles in regulating cancer cell proliferation, stemness maintenance, tumorigenesis, cancer metastasis, and cancer therapeutic resistance. While studies have shown that dysregulation of miRNA-205-5p (miR-205) expression is controversial in different types of human cancers, it is generally observed that miR-205-5p expression level is downregulated in breast cancer and that miR-205-5p exhibits a tumor suppressive function in breast cancer. This review focuses on the role of miR-205-5p dysregulation in different subtypes of breast cancer, with discussions on the effects of miR-205-5p on breast cancer cell proliferation, epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), metastasis, stemness and therapy-resistance, as well as genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that regulate miR-205-5p expression in breast cancer. In addition, the potential diagnostic and therapeutic value of miR-205-5p in breast cancer is also discussed. A comprehensive list of validated miR-205-5p direct targets is presented. It is concluded that miR-205-5p is an important tumor suppressive miRNA capable of inhibiting the growth and metastasis of human breast cancer, especially triple negative breast cancer. MiR-205-5p might be both a potential diagnostic biomarker and a therapeutic target for metastatic breast cancer.
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