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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules, approximately 22 nucleotides in length that regulate gene translation through silencing or degradation of target mRNAs. They are involved in multiple biological processes, including differentiation and proliferation, metabolism, hemostasis, apoptosis or inflammation, and in the pathophysiology of many diseases. Numerous studies have suggested circulating miRNAs as promising diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers of many diseases.

miR-379-5p plays important roles in the pathogenesis of human cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), osteosarcoma (OS), glioblastoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, lung cancer, breast cancer and bladder cancer.

miR-379-5p, which is down-regulated in HCC tissues and cell lines, is associated with advanced TNM stage and metastasis in HCC. The ectopic overexpression of miR-379-5p inhibited HCC cell migration, invasion, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis. Moreover, miR-379-5p exerted this function by directly targeting focal adhesion kinase (FAK) 3'-UTR and repressing FAK expression, thus leading to suppression of AKT signaling. In clinical samples of HCC, miR-379-5p negatively correlated with FAK, which was up-regulated in HCC.

circRNA signal-induced proliferation-associated 1 like 1 (circ_SIPA1L1) accelerated the proliferation and metastasis abilities of OS cells. MiR-379-5p directly bound to circ_SIPA1L1 and MAP3K9. MiR-379-5p interference rescued the abilities of proliferation and metastasis in OS cells, which were suppressed by the silencing of circ_SIPA1L1.

miR-379-5p were shown to participate in the development of autoimmune inflammatory processes in multiple sclerosis (MS). The upregulation of miR-126-3p, miR-146b-5p, miR-155, miR-196a-5p, miR-21-5p, miR-223-3p, miR-326 and miR-379-5p in remission compared to relapse was observed. Two of these miRNAs (miR-223-3p and miR-379-5p) were upregulated only in men.

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