Intersection of MicroRNA and Gene Regulatory Networks and their Implication in Cancer

ISSN: 1873-4316 (Online)
ISSN: 1389-2010 (Print)

Volume 16, 12 Issues, 2015

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Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

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Zeno Foldes-Papp
Visiting Professor of Medical Biochemistry
HELIOS Clinical Center of Emergency Medicine
Department for Internal Medicine
Alte-Koelner-Strasse 9
D-51688 Koeln-Wipperfuerth

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Intersection of MicroRNA and Gene Regulatory Networks and their Implication in Cancer

Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, 15(5): 445-454.

Author(s): Malik Yousef, Hung V. Trinh and Jens Allmer.

Affiliation: Molecular Biology and Genetics, Izmir Institute of Technology, Urla, Izmir, Turkey.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have attracted heightened attention for their role as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. It has become clear that miRNAs can both up- and downregulate protein expression. According to current estimates, most human genes are harboring miRNAs and/or are regulated by them. Thus miRNAs form a complex network of expression regulation which tightly interacts with known gene regulatory networks. Similar to some transcription factors, some miRNAs can have hundreds of target transcripts whose expression they modulate. Thus miRNAs can form complex regulatory networks by themselves, but because their expression is often tightly coordinated with gene expression, they form an intertwined regulatory network with many possible interactions among gene and miRNA regulatory pathways. In this review we first consider gene regulatory networks. Then we discuss microRNAs and their implication in cancer and how they may form regulatory networks. Finally, we give our perspective and provide an outlook including the aspect of personalized medicine.


Invasion, metastasis, microRNA, network, pathway, Petri nets, reconstruction, regulation, tumor suppression.

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Article Details

Volume: 15
Issue Number: 5
First Page: 445
Last Page: 454
Page Count: 10
DOI: 10.2174/1389201015666140519120855

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