MicroRNA: Small but Mighty Effects on Neuroblastoma

Kate Chandler


Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid tumor occurring in childhood that also is associated with poor prognosis due to resistance to chemotherapy and genetic amplification of MYCN. MicroRNA are non-coding RNAs that have a very important role in regulating the expression of genes and function as chemical messengers to mediate cell-cell communication. The role microRNA’s plays in drug-resistance development in the tumor microenvironment as well as the amplification of MYCN is currently being studied. More specifically the assessment of which exosomic miRNA’s are involved and which molecular mechanisms they elicit this function. Recent progress has been made through data showing that there are several important roles microRNA plays in NBL. One such role is the exosomic role of miRNA-21 and miRNA-155 in “talking” between monocyte and NBL cells that contribute to resistance to chemotherapy in a novel signaling pathway. Another role is how the loss of  let-7, a tumor suppressor family of microRNA’s, is associated with amplification of MYCN in NBL that possibly also has a more broad implication in cancer pathogenesis. Questions still remain in how these findings can be contributed to helping improve prognoses and implications into treatment.

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