Role of microRNA‑33a in malignant cells (Review)
- Chang Gao
- Jiaen Wei
- Tingting Tang
- Zunnan Huang
Affiliations: Key Laboratory for Research and Development of Natural Drugs of Guangdong Province, School of Pharmacy, Guangdong Medical University, Dongguan, Guangdong 523808, P.R. China
- Published online on: July 9, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2020.11835
Copyright: © Gao
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
terms of Creative
Commons Attribution License.
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Cancer causes most of the mortality and morbidity worldwide, with a significant increase in incidence during recent years. MicroRNAs (miRNAs/miRs) are non‑coding small RNAs capable of regulating gene expression. They regulate crucial cellular processes, including proliferation, differentiation, metastasis and apoptosis. Therefore, abnormal miRNA expression is associated with multiple diseases, including cancer. There are two types of cancer‑associated miRNAs, oncogenic and tumor suppressor miRNAs, depending on their roles and expression patterns in cancer. Accordingly, miRNAs are considered to be targets for cancer prevention and treatment. miR‑33a controls cellular cholesterol uptake and synthesis, which are both closely associated with carcinogenesis. The present review thoroughly describes the roles of miR‑33a in more than a dozen types of cancer and the underlying mechanisms. Accordingly, the present review may serve as a guide for researchers studying the involvement of miR‑33a in diverse cancer settings.