The Science

About MicroRNAs and miR-7

MicroRNAs have emerged as an important class of small RNAs encoded in the genome. They act as master regulators to control the expression of sets of genes and entire cellular pathways. Recent studies have demonstrated that microRNAs are associated with many disease processes, including cancer. Because they are single molecular entities that dictate the expression of fundamental regulatory pathways, microRNAs represent potential drug targets for controlling many biologic and disease processes.

miR-7 is a microRNA that was found by Professor Leedman and his team at The Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research to act as a tumor suppressor through inhibition of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and its downstream signaling pathways that promote cancer development. EGFR is a major target for cancer therapy because it is often associated with disease progression, resistance to chemotherapy/radiation therapy, and poor prognosis.