MicroRNAs (miRNA) are small non-coding RNAs that act as one of the main regulators of
gene expression. They are involved in maintaining a proper balance of diverse processes, including differentiation,
proliferation, and cell death in normal cells. Cancer biology can also be affected by these
molecules by modulating the expression of oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. Thus, miRNA based
anticancer therapy is currently being developed either alone or in combination with chemotherapy
agents used in cancer management, aiming at promoting tumor regression and increasing cure rate.
Access to large quantities of RNA agents can facilitate RNA research and development. In addition to
currently used in vitro methods, fermentation-based approaches have recently been developed, which
can cost‐effectively produce biological RNA agents with proper folding needed for the development of
RNA-based therapeutics. Nevertheless, a major challenge in translating preclinical studies to clinical
for miRNA-based cancer therapy is the efficient delivery of these agents to target cells. Targeting
miRNAs/anti-miRNAs using antibodies and/or peptides can minimize cellular and systemic toxicity.
Here, we provide a brief review of miRNA in the following aspects: biogenesis and mechanism of action
of miRNAs, the role of miRNAs in cancer as tumor suppressors or oncogenes, the potential of using
miRNAs as novel and promising therapeutics, miRNA-mediated chemo-sensitization, and currently
utilized methods for the in vitro and in vivo production of RNA agents. Finally, an update on the viral
and non-viral delivery systems is addressed.
Keywords: MicroRNAs, biogenesis, cancer, oncomirs, chemo-sensitization, bioengineered non-coding RNA agent, delivery
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