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MicroRNAs as therapeutic agents: The future of the battle against cancer


Sumit Biswas *  


Since their discovery in the 1990’s, the study of a class of non-coding, single-stranded RNAs, christened the microRNAs has opened up new vistas in the field of cancer biology. MicroRNAs bind to their target mRNAs to act as either oncogenes or tumour suppressors. With the near-complete elucidation of the biogenesis pathway, and the advent of rapid sequencing technologies, microRNAs have slowly cemented their place as essential biomarkers for delineating the progression, metastasis, relapse or drug resistance of cancer. Being crucial players in the cancer pathway, there has been considerable urgency in designing molecules – both at the nucleotide and non-nucleotide level to counter the effects of their binding. A number of different approaches have yielded quite a body of compounds which have been found to be effective in the treatment of various tumours across many different organs. In this study, the focus is on the review of the timeline of discovery and characterization of microRNAs, underline their importance in different cancers, shed light on the discovery of anti-microRNA compounds and illustrate their uses in deriving new strategies to combat cancer.


MicroRNA, Biomarker, antimiR, mRNA mimic, small molecule inhibitor


Department of Biological Sciences, BITS, Pilani - K K Birla Goa Campus, Zuarinagar, Goa 403726

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