MicroRNA regulation of cell viability and drug sensitivity in lung cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Introduction: microRNAs (miRNAs) are 19 23 nucleotide long RNAs found in multiple organisms that regulate gene expression and have been shown to play important roles in tumorigenesis. In the context of lung cancer, numerous studies have shown that tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes that play crucial roles in lung tumor development and progression are targets of miRNA regulation. Manipulation of miRNA levels that modulate lung cancer cell survival and drug sensitivity can therefore provide novel therapeutic targets and agents. Areas covered: Here, the authors review the published in vitro, in vivo and preclinical studies on the functional role of miRNAs in modulating lung cancer cell viability and drug response, and discuss the limitations and promise of translating current findings into miRNA-based therapeutic and diagnostic strategies. Expert opinion: Although many miRNAs have been identified as potent regulators of cell viability and drug sensitivity in lung cancer, most of them have not been characterized for potential clinical application. Further study is warranted to evaluate translation of the current findings to the clinic to improve the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. In addition, most studies have focused on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). It is therefore important to raise interest in investigating miRNAs in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) as well as in comparative studies of miRNA expression and function in different histological subtypes of lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1221-1239
Number of pages19
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Cell viability
  • Drug response
  • Drug sensitivity
  • MicroRNA
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Oncogene
  • Small cell lung cancer
  • Tumor suppressor gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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