Small molecule with big role: MicroRNAs in cancer metastatic microenvironments.

Cancer letters

PubMedID: 24184826

Su Y, Li X, Ji W, Sun B, Xu C, Li Z, Qian G, Su C. Small molecule with big role: MicroRNAs in cancer metastatic microenvironments. Cancer Lett. 2013;.
Cancer metastasis is closely related to tumor cell microenvironments. Cancer cells and stromal cells interact with one another through extracellular matrix (ECM) and jointly participate in establishing the microenvironments. However, many questions remain to be addressed, in particular, a crucial question is which messengers mediate the mutual interaction and regulation between cancer cells and stromal cells. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), as oncogenic and oncosuppressor genes, regulate the expression and function of their related target genes to affect the biological behaviors of cancer cells and stromal cells, which may play an important role in cancer metastasis. Many miRNAs associated with cancer metastasis have been identified. The molecules of miRNAs are small and relatively easy to be secreted into extracellular microenvironments and devoured by nearby cells. As the regulatory messengers between cells, the secreted miRNAs function to regulate cancer cell proliferation, migration, intercellular communication and stromal modification, thereby helping cancer cells to establish their microenvironments for metastasis. In conclusion, miRNAs are small molecules, but they play a powerful role in regulating cancer metastatic ability by construction and modification of microenvironments.