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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2006 (2006), Article ID 73104, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/JBB/2006/73104
Review Article

Noncoding RNAs in Cancer Medicine

Istituto di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Sperimentale (IEOS) del CNR “G. Salvatore” via S. Pansini 5, Naples 80131, Italy

Received 20 January 2006; Accepted 3 April 2006

Copyright © 2006 Laura Cerchia and Vittorio De Franciscis. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Several signalling proteins involved in cell growth and differentiation represent attractive candidate targets for cancer diagnosis and/or therapy since they can act as oncogenes. Because of their high specificity and low immunogeneicity, using artificial small noncoding RNA (ncRNAs) as therapeutics has recently become a highly promising and rapidly expanding field of interest. Indeed, ncRNAs may either interfere with RNA transcription, stability, translation or directly hamper the function of the targets by binding to their surface. The recent finding that the expression of several genes is under the control of small single-stranded regulatory RNAs, including miRNAs, makes these genes as appropriate targets for ncRNA gene silencing. Furthermore, another class of small ncRNA, aptamers, act as high-affinity ligands and potential antagonists of disease-associated proteins. We will review here the recent and innovative methods that have been developed and the possible applications of ncRNAs as inhibitors or tracers in cancer medicine.