MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small single stranded non coding RNA molecules (~22 nucleotides)
which impede protein production by directly interacting with 3’untranslated regions of the target
mRNAs. Interestingly, miR-200c is often dysregulated in various cancers that normally exhibits tumor
suppressive behavior by blocking epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) of cancer cells. However,
elevation of miR-200c in various cancer tissues contradicts the tumor suppressive role of this microRNA.
This review addresses the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of the endogenous
level of miR-200c in various cancers such as breast, ovarian, prostate, endometrial, lungs, colon,
pancreatic, etc. and its differential role in regulation of proliferation and EMT phenotype of cancer cells. Further, this review
discusses whether abnormal level of miR-200c in cancer tissues or in blood circulation can be used as a biomarker.
Importantly, how the level of miR-200c can be used to predict the effectiveness of the cancer therapy is also discussed.
Accumulating evidences suggest that use of miR-200c alone may not be sufficient for treatment of cancer patients, but the
combination of miR-200c with an anti-proliferating drug could be a better choice to prevent invasiveness of cancers as
well as tumor growth both in primary and in metastatic sites. This article also proposes that the tumor microenvironment
may have a role in influencing epigenetic silencing of miR-200c expression.
Keywords: Biomarker, epithelial to mesenchymal transition, microRNAs, miR-200c, tumor microenvironment, tumor suppressor.
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