Lifestyle Factors and MicroRNAs: A New Paradigm in Cancer Chemoprevention
Toran Sanli, Sabrina Strano and Paola Muti
Affiliation: Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, 711 Concession Street, 1st Floor, 60 (G) Wing, Room 125, Hamilton, ON L8V 1C3, Canada.
Keywords: Cancer prevention, exercise, lifestyle, metformin, miRNA, nutrition.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are characterized as small RNA molecules that modulate gene transcription in a posttranslational
manner. Functionally, miRNAs play important roles in a diverse number of biological processes, including
cell development, differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis. Consequently, changes in the expression pattern of
miRNAs have been associated with multiple human pathologies, including cancer. Based on these alterations, distinct
miRNAs can be utilized as markers for cancer risk evaluation or used in tumour detection. Recent evidence has indicated
that lifestyle factors, such as nutrition, physical activity, and glycemic control provide health benefits through regulation
of miRNA expression. In this review, we provide a concise overview of miRNA regulation, biosynthesis, and their expression
patterns in normal and malignant tissue. We then summarize the emerging knowledge of how lifestyle factors,
including nutrients, exercise, and hypoglycemic agents modify miRNAs and are involved in cancer prevention. Finally,
we conclude by providing recommendation for future investigations into novel agents that can modulate miRNAs and act
as chemotherapeutic agents against cancer.
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