MetastamiRs: The Role of MicroRNAs in the Metastatic Phenotype of Prostate Cancer

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Adam Wiggins, MD
Jonathan Xu, MD
Aaron Perecman, MD
Thomas Kalantzakos, BA
Sanjna Das, BS
Travis Sullivan, MS
Kimberly Rieger-Christ, PHD


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate protein expression. The human genome encodes more than 2,500 miRNAs, with each being able to modulate several targets, act along a variety of cellular pathways, and affect various tissues. They are frequently dysregulated in cancers and, via their protein targets, act as oncogenes or tumor-suppressors. As such, their effects are pervasive—miRNAs have been implicated in various biological processes including apoptosis, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, and angiogenesis. In this context, miRNA involved in metastasis have been termed “metastamiRs”. This chapter focuses on the role of miRNAs in the metastatic processes of prostate cancer. Our primary aims are to detail specific biological processes and molecular targets through which miRNAs act and that may serve as therapeutic targets. Secondly, we discuss the potential of miRNAs to serve as biomarkers of tumor aggression and thus potentially guide personalized therapy.


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Chapter 7