Systems biology-based investigation of cooperating microRNAs as monotherapy or adjuvant therapy in cancer

Lai, Xin, Eberhardt, Martin, Schmitz, Ulf, and Vera, Julio (2019) Systems biology-based investigation of cooperating microRNAs as monotherapy or adjuvant therapy in cancer. Nucleic Acids Research, 47 (15). pp. 7753-7766.

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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression by suppressing mRNA translation and reducing mRNA stability. A miRNA can potentially bind many mRNAs, thereby affecting the expression of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes as well as the activity of whole pathways. The promise of miRNA therapeutics in cancer is to harness this evolutionarily conserved mechanism for the coordinated regulation of gene expression, and thus restoring a normal cell phenotype. However, the promiscuous binding of miRNAs can provoke unwanted off-target effects, which are usually caused by high-dose single-miRNA treatments. Thus, it is desirable to develop miRNA therapeutics with increased specificity and efficacy. To achieve that, we propose the concept of miRNA cooperativity in order to exert synergistic repression on target genes, thus lowering the required total amount of miRNAs. We first review miRNA therapies in clinical application. Next, we summarize the knowledge on the molecular mechanism and biological function of miRNA cooperativity and discuss its application in cancer therapies. We then propose and discuss a systems biology approach to investigate miRNA cooperativity for the clinical setting. Altogether, we point out the potential of miRNA cooperativity to reduce off-target effects and to complement conventional, targeted, or immune-based therapies for cancer.

Item ID: 68977
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1362-4962
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2021 22:16
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3102 Bioinformatics and computational biology > 310201 Bioinformatic methods development @ 50%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3211 Oncology and carcinogenesis > 321104 Cancer therapy (excl. chemotherapy and radiation therapy) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 30%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280103 Expanding knowledge in the biomedical and clinical sciences @ 70%
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