MicroRNAs in cancer metastasis and angiogenesis

Weiyang Lou, Jingxing Liu, Yanjia Gao, Guansheng Zhong, Danni Chen, Jiaying Shen, Chang Bao, Liang Xu, Jie Pan, Junchi Cheng, Bisha Ding and Weimin Fan _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:115787-115802. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23115

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Weiyang Lou1,*, Jingxing Liu2,*, Yanjia Gao3,*, Guansheng Zhong1, Danni Chen1, Jiaying Shen1, Chang Bao1, Liang Xu4, Jie Pan1, Junchi Cheng5, Bisha Ding1 and Weimin Fan1,6

1Program of Innovative Cancer Therapeutics, Division of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, Department of Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Key Laboratory of Combined Multi-Organ Transplantation, Ministry of Public Health, Key Laboratory of Organ Transplantation, Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou 310003, China

2Department of Intensive Care Unit, Changxing People’s Hospital of Zhejiang, Zhejiang Province, Huzhou 313100, China

3Department of Anesthesiology, International Hospital of Zhejiang University, Shulan (Hangzhou) Hospital, Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou 310003, China

4Clinical Research Center, First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou 310003, China

5Department of Chemotherapy, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou 310003, China

6Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Weimin Fan, email: [email protected]

Keywords: angiogenesis; cancer; microRNAs; metastasis; therapy

Received: July 27, 2017    Accepted: November 17, 2017    Published: December 11, 2017


Cancer metastasis is a malignant process by which tumor cells migrate from their primary site of origin to other organs. It is the main cause of poor prognosis in cancer patients. Angiogenesis is the process of generating new blood capillaries from pre-existing vasculature. It plays a vital role in primary tumor growth and distant metastasis. MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs involved in regulating normal physiological processes as well as cancer pathogenesis. They suppress gene expression by specifically binding to the 3’-untranslated region (3’-UTR) of their target genes. They can thus act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors depending on the function of their target genes. MicroRNAs have shown great promise for use in anti-metastatic cancer therapy. In this article, we review the roles of various miRNAs in cancer angiogenesis and metastasis and highlight their potential for use in future therapies against metastatic cancer.

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