MicroRNA and signal transduction pathways in tumor radiation response.

Cellular signalling

PubMedID: 23602933

Zhao L, Lu X, Cao Y. MicroRNA and signal transduction pathways in tumor radiation response. Cell Signal. 2013;25(7):1625-34.
Tumor radiation response is an essential issue in radiotherapy and a core determining factor of tumor radioresistance or radiosensitivity. Multiple factors can influence tumor radiation response, and among them tumor genetic and epigenetic background, tumor microenvironment and tumor blood flow status may take a leading role. During the whole process of tumor radiation response, tumor radiosensitivity can be regulated in an orderly manner through some classical signal transduction pathways. Although these pathways have already owned multiple biological functions and involved in the process of carcinogenesis, their regulatory roles in tumor radiation response can not be ignored. MicroRNA (miRNA) is a class of non-coding RNA of about 22 nucleotides in length, which binds to the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of target gene and controls the expression of it at the post-transcriptional level. MiRNA participates in numerous physiology and pathology processes and acts as oncogene or tumor suppressor to affect cancer progression. Through interplaying with the key components in radiation related signal transduction pathways, miRNA could effectively activate the expression of DNA damage response genes and cell cycle related genes in the nucleus, and play a critical role in the modulation of radiation response and radiosensitivity in tumor cells. In this review, we mainly elucidate the regulatory mechanisms and functions of miRNA in these radiation related signal transduction pathways from three different aspects which include the upstream receptors, midstream transducer pathways, and downstream effector genes.