MicroRNAs are predicted to regulate a majority of genes in human cells and both overexpression and loss of expression of some miRNAs are correlated with malignant phenotypes in different cancer cells. A decrease in miRNA activity is most commonly observed and may be important for the plasticity of tumor cells to undergo transitions between differentiation states and to grow in different niches.
In Aim 1 of this Project we plan to investigate
Decreases in miRNA regulation are commonly observed in malignant cells. This probably confers plasticity to cancer cells permitting a greater range of developmental states and more diverse responses to stresses. Integrating the current understanding of miRNA regulation into the chain of events in vivo that results in a malignant cell is important. A greater understanding of the roles in cancer of the large family of non-coding RNAs could provide new opportunities for diagnosis and treatment.
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