Targeting CSCs in Tumor Microenvironment: The Potential Role of ROS-Associated miRNAs in Tumor Aggressiveness

Author(s): Bin Bao, Asfar S. Azmi, Yiwei Li, Aamir Ahmad, Shadan Ali, Sanjeev Banerjee, Dejuan Kong, Fazlul H. Sarkar.

Journal Name:Current Stem Cell Research & Therapy

Volume 9 , Issue 1 , 2014


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been widely considered as critical cellular signaling molecules involving in various biological processes such as cell growth, differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis, and angiogenesis. The homeostasis of ROS is critical to maintain normal biological processes. Increased production of ROS, namely oxidative stress, due to either endogenous or exogenous sources causes irreversible damage of bio-molecules such as DNA, proteins, lipids, and sugars, leading to genomic instability, genetic mutation, and altered gene expression, eventually contributing to tumorigenesis. A great amount of experimental studies in vitro and in vivo have produced solid evidence supporting that oxidative stress is strongly associated with increased tumor cell growth, treatment resistance, and metastasis, and all of which contribute to tumor aggressiveness. More recently, the data have indicated that altered production of ROS is also associated with cancer stem cells (CSCs), epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and hypoxia, the most common features or phenomena in tumorigenesis and tumor progression. However, the exact mechanism by which ROS is involved in the regulation of CSC and EMT characteristics as well as hypoxia- and, especially, HIF-mediated pathways is not well known. Emerging evidence suggests the role of miRNAs in tumorigenesis and progression of human tumors. Recently, the data have indicated that altered productions of ROS are associated with deregulated expression of miRNAs, suggesting their potential roles in the regulation of ROS production. Therefore, targeting ROS mediated through the deregulation of miRNAs by novel approaches or by naturally occurring anti-oxidant agents such as genistein could provide a new therapeutic approach for the prevention and/or treatment of human malignancies. In this article, we will discuss the potential role of miRNAs in the regulation of ROS production during tumorigenesis. Finally, we will discuss the role of genistein, as a potent anti-tumor agent in the regulation of ROS production during tumorigenesis and tumor development.

Keywords: ROS, CSCs, EMT, hypoxia, miRNAs, genistein.

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Article Details

Year: 2014
Page: [22 - 35]
Pages: 14
DOI: 10.2174/1574888X113089990053
Price: $58