Review Article

MicroRNAs are involved in the development and progression of gastric cancer

Xiaolin Liu1,2, Ruixia Ma1,3, Bin Yi1, Adam I. Riker4, Yaguang Xi1
1 Department of Genetics and Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA, USA
2 Department of Oncology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Shandong First Medical University, Jinan 250014, China
3 Jiangsu Center for the Collaboration and Innovation of Cancer Biotherapy, Cancer Institute, Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou 221000, China
4 Geaton and JoAnn DeCesaris Cancer Institute, Department of Surgery, Anne Arundel Medical Center, Cancer Service Line, Luminis Health, Annapolis, MD, USA
Correspondence to: Adam I. Riker:,
DOI: 10.1038/s41401-020-00540-0
Received: 19 June 2020
Accepted: 14 September 2020
Advance online: 9 October 2020


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are recognized as an essential component of the RNA family, exerting multiple and intricate biological functions, particularly in the process of tumorigenesis, proliferation, and metastatic progression. MiRNAs are altered in gastric cancer (GC), showing activity as both tumor suppressors and oncogenes, although their true roles have not been fully understood. This review will focus upon the recent advances of miRNA studies related to the regulatory mechanisms of gastric tumor cell proliferation, apoptosis, and cell cycle. We hope to provide an in-depth insight into the mechanistic role of miRNAs in GC development and progression. In particular, we summarize the latest studies relevant to miRNAs’ impact upon the epithelial- mesenchymal transition, tumor microenvironment, and chemoresistance in GC cells. We expect to elucidate the molecular mechanisms involving miRNAs for better understanding the etiology of GC, and facilitating the development of new treatment regimens for the treatment of GC.
Keywords: microRNA; gastric cancer; signaling pathway; epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT); angiogenesis; tumor microenvironment; chemoresistance

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