Epigenetics and micrornas in cancer

Petra M. Wise, Kishore B. Challagundla, Muller Fabbri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNA which regulate gene expression. In addition to their “classical” mechanism of action (targeting of messenger RNAs by binding to partially complementary sequences in their 3′-untranslated region), it has been shown that miRNAs can also regulate gene expression by affecting the epigenetics status of genes. These miRNAs, called epi-miRNAs, act by directly silencing key effectors of the epigenetic machinery, such as DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), histone deacetylases (HDACs), and Polycomb Repressive Complex (PRC) genes. Moreover, miRNAs, like any other protein coding gene, are also regulated by epigenetic mechanisms. Overall, this two-way interaction between the miRNome and the epigenome is critically involved in the dysregulation of miRNAs observed in human cancer, and at least in part responsible for human carcinogenesis. A better understanding of the dynamic between miRNAs and epigenetics in cancer is leading to the identification of new molecular anticancer targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCancer Immunology
Subtitle of host publicationA Translational Medicine Context, Second Edition
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9783030308452
ISBN (Print)9783030308445
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Epigenetics
  • Regulation.
  • Tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Epigenetics and micrornas in cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this