University Of Tasmania
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Non-coding RNA regulation of integrins and their potential as therapeutic targets in cancer

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 15:26 authored by Tristan VerhoeffTristan Verhoeff, Adele HollowayAdele Holloway, Joanne DickinsonJoanne Dickinson

Background: Integrins are integral to cell signalling and management of the extracellular matrix, and exquisite regulation of their expression is essential for a variety of cell signalling pathways, whilst disordered regulation is a key driver of tumour progression and metastasis. Most recently non-coding RNAs in the form of micro-RNA (miRNA) and long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) have emerged as a key mechanism by which tissue dependent gene expression is controlled. Whilst historically these molecules have been poorly understood, advances in 'omic' technologies and a greater understanding of non-coding regions of the genome have revealed that non-coding RNAs make up a large proportion of the transcriptome.

Conclusions and perspectives: ncRNAs, provides and overview of their mechanism of action and highlights how exploitation of these discoveries is informing the development of novel chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of cancer. MiRNA molecules have been the most extensively characterised and negatively regulate most integrin genes, classically regulating genes through binding to recognition sequences in the mRNA 3'-untranslated regions of gene transcripts. LncRNA mechanisms of action are now being elucidated and appear to be more varied and complex, and may counter miRNA molecules, directly engage integrin mRNA transcripts, and guide or block both transcription factors and epigenetic machinery at integrin promoters or at other points in integrin regulation. Integrins as therapeutic targets are of enormous interest given their roles as oncogenes in a variety of tumours, and emerging therapeutics mimicking ncRNA mechanisms of action are already being trialled.


Publication title

Cellular Oncology






Menzies Institute for Medical Research



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© The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, (

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Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions; Prevention of human diseases and conditions; Treatment of human diseases and conditions