MicroRNAs and lung cancer: Biology and applications in diagnosis and prognosis

Reema Mallick1, Santosh Kumar Patnaik2, Sai Yendamuri3
1Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown, OH, USA.
2Department of Thoracic Surgery, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA.
3Department of Thoracic Surgery, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY; Department of Surgery, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA.
DOI: 10.4103/1477-3163.67074


MicroRNAs are tiny non-coding RNA molecules which play important roles in the epigenetic control of cellular processes by preventing the translation of proteins from messenger RNAs (mRNAs). A single microRNA can target different mRNAs, and an mRNA can be targeted by multiple microRNAs. Such complex interplays underlie many molecular pathways in cells, and specific roles for many microRNAs in physiological as well as pathological phenomena have been identified. Changes in expression of microRNAs have been associated with a wide variety of disease conditions, and microRNA-based biomarkers are being developed for the identification and monitoring of such states. This review provides a general overview of the current state of knowledge about the biology of microRNAs, and specific information about microRNAs with regard to the diagnosis and prognosis of lung cancer.

Keywords: Carcinogenesis, gene expression, microRNA, lung cancer.