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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286

Review Article

Circulating MicroRNAs and Blood-Brain-Barrier Function in Breast Cancer Metastasis

Author(s): Carolin J. Curtaz, Constanze Schmitt, Kinga G. Blecharz-Lang, Norbert Roewer, Achim Wöckel and Malgorzata Burek*

Volume 26, Issue 13, 2020

Page: [1417 - 1427] Pages: 11

DOI: 10.2174/1381612826666200316151720

open access plus


Brain metastases are a major cause of death in breast cancer patients. A key event in the metastatic progression of breast cancer in the brain is the migration of cancer cells across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The BBB is a natural barrier with specialized functions that protect the brain from harmful substances, including antitumor drugs. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) sequestered by cells are mediators of cell-cell communication. EVs carry cellular components, including microRNAs that affect the cellular processes of target cells. Here, we summarize the knowledge about microRNAs known to play a significant role in breast cancer and/or in the BBB function. In addition, we describe previously established in vitro BBB models, which are a useful tool for studying molecular mechanisms involved in the formation of brain metastases.

Keywords: Metastatic breast cancer, blood-brain barrier, in vitro models, microRNA, extracellular vesicles (EVs), brain metastases.

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