MicroRNAs in hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancers

Yoshimasa Saito, Hidekazu Suzuki, Misa Matsuura, Ayami Sato, Yusuke Kasai, Kana Yamada, Hidetsugu Saito, Toshifumi Hibi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that function as endogenous silencers of numerous target genes. Hundreds of miRNAs have been identified in the human genome. miRNAs are expressed in a tissue-specific manner and play important roles in cell proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation. Aberrant expression of miRNAs may also contribute to the development and progression of human hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancers. Recent studies have shown that some miRNAs play roles as tumor suppressors or oncogenes in hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancers. miR-122, let-7 family, and miR-101 are down-regulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), suggesting that it is a potential tumor suppressor of HCC. miR-221 and miR-222 are up-regulated in HCC and may act as oncogenic miRNAs in hepatocarcinogenesis. miRNA expression profiling may be a powerful clinical tool for diagnosis and regulation of miRNA expression could be a novel therapeutic strategy for hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancers. In this review, we summarize current knowledge about the roles of important tumor suppressor microRNAs and oncogenic microRNAs in hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberArticle 66
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
Issue numberSEP
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Epigenetics
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • MicroRNA
  • Oncogene
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Tumor suppressor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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