Translational applications of microRNA genes in medulloblastomas

Ajeawung, Norbert F.; Bin Li; Kamnasaran, Deepak
August 2010
Clinical & Investigative Medicine;Aug2010, Vol. 33 Issue 4, pE223
Academic Journal
Purpose: To provide a critical assessment of the clinical translational applications of microRNA (miRNA) genes in medulloblastomas. Methods: Data were obtained from MEDLINE using Boolean-formatted keyword queries. Top articles were selected for critical analyses - depending on the novelty of findings, qualitative assessment of the citation index and relevance to the diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic targeting of medulloblastomas. Results: MiRNAs, non-protein-coding RNA molecules, negatively regulate gene expression in a sequence-specific manner during biological processes. In the past few years, miRNA genes have emerged as key regulators of not only molecular events involved in normal brain development and function but also in the molecular pathogenesis of medulloblastomas. In this manner, microRNA genes are identified with functional roles as oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. At least four miRNAs have proven useful in improving the molecular classification of medulloblastomas, and eight others have shown potential in predicting patients' overall prognosis. Moreover, more than 10 miRNA genes can be potentially utilized in therapies against medulloblastomas, using nine recent methods of targetting miRNAs. Conclusion: The quest to identify miRNA genes that are of biological significance in medulloblastomas is on an ongoing venture. Most importantly, these miRNAs have been shown to be of clinical importance for improving the accuracy of diagnosis and prognosis and even developing therapies that can significantly improve patients' overall survival from this deadly disease.


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