Background: MicroRNAs are endogenous, short, non-coding RNAs with the length as
low as 20 to 25 nucleotides. These RNAs are able to negatively affect the gene expression at the
post-transcriptional level. It has been demonstrated that microRNAs play a significant role in cell
proliferation, cell migration, cell death, cell differentiation, infection, immune response, and metabolism.
Besides, the dysfunction of microRNAs has been observed in a variety of cancers. So, modulation
of microRNAs is of interest in the treatment of disorders.
Objective: The aim of the current review is to investigate the modulatory effect of propofol on microRNAs
in cancer therapy.
Methods: This review was performed at PubMed, SCOPUS and Web of Science data-bases using
keywords “propofol’, “microRNA”, “cancer therapy”, “propofol + microRNA” and “propofol +
Results: It was found that propofol dually down-regulates/upregulates microRNAs to exert its antitumor
activity. In terms of oncogenesis microRNAs, propofol exert an inhibitory effect, while propofol
significantly enhances the expression of oncosuppressor microRNAs.
Conclusion: It seems that propofol is a potential modulator of microRNAs and this capability can be
used in the treatment of various cancers.