Role of miRNAs in human cancer metastasis: Implications for therapeutic intervention

Mohammad Alam Jafri, Mohammed Hussein Al-Qahtani, Jerry William Shay

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Metastasis is the spread and growth of localized cancer to new locations in the body and is considered the main cause of cancer-related deaths. Metastatic cancer cells display distinct genomic and epigenomic profiles and almost universally an aggressive pathophysiology. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms and regulation of metastasis, including how metastatic tumors grow and survive in the nascent niche and the interactions of the emergent metastatic cancer cells within the local microenvironment may provide tools to design strategies to restrict metastatic dissemination. Aberrant microRNAs (miRNA) expression has been reported in metastatic cancer cells. MicroRNAs are known to regulate divergent and/or convergent metastatic gene pathways including activation of reprogramming switches during metastasis. An in-depth understanding of role of miRNAs in the metastatic cascade may lead to the identification of novel targets for anti-metastatic therapeutics as well as potential candidate miRNAs for cancer treatment. This review primarily focuses on the role of miRNAs in the mechanisms of cancer metastasis as well as implications for metastatic cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-131
Number of pages15
JournalSeminars in Cancer Biology
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Anti-OncomiR
  • EMT
  • Metastasis
  • MiRNA-mimics
  • miRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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