Melanoma is a high-grade, poorly differentiated malignant tumor of pigment-producing cells (melanocytes), accounting for
more than 70% of the skin cancer related deaths. Although new lines of targeted therapy and immunotherapy were introduced lately, durable
responses are not common as it is hard to target the elusive metastatic phenotype. microRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding
RNA molecules that function as specific epigenetic regulators of the transcriptome. miRNAs are involved in a broad spectrum of physiological
and pathological processes, including cancer-related functions such as proliferation, cell cycle, migration, invasion, immune evasion
and drug resistance. These functions are mostly regulated in melanoma through four molecular deregulated pathways, including the
RAS/MAPK pathway, the MITF pathway, the p16INK4A-CDK4-RB pathway and the PI3K-AKT pathway. miRNAs provide a strong
platform for delineation of cancer mechanisms. Here we review the diverse roles of miRNAs in melanoma cell biology. Studying
miRNA-mediated regulation of aggressive and tumor related features is expected to provide novel mechanistic insights that may pave the
way for new diagnostic, prognostic and predictive tools as well as new molecular targets for future therapy.
Keywords: Melanoma, microRNAs, cancer, proliferation, cell cycle, invasion, migration, immune evasion, drug resistance.
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