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International Journal of Genomics
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 820248, 10 pages
Review Article

MicroRNAs in the DNA Damage/Repair Network and Cancer

Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences, University of L’Aquila, Via Vetoio, Coppito 2, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy

Received 6 July 2013; Accepted 10 December 2013; Published 30 January 2014

Academic Editor: John Parkinson

Copyright © 2014 Alessandra Tessitore et al. 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.


Cancer is a multistep process characterized by various and different genetic lesions which cause the transformation of normal cells into tumor cells. To preserve the genomic integrity, eukaryotic cells need a complex DNA damage/repair response network of signaling pathways, involving many proteins, able to induce cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, or DNA repair. Chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy are the most commonly used therapeutic approaches to manage cancer and act mainly through the induction of DNA damage. Impairment in the DNA repair proteins, which physiologically protect cells from persistent DNA injury, can affect the efficacy of cancer therapies. Recently, increasing evidence has suggested that microRNAs take actively part in the regulation of the DNA damage/repair network. MicroRNAs are endogenous short noncoding molecules able to regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Due to their activity, microRNAs play a role in many fundamental physiological and pathological processes. In this review we report and discuss the role of microRNAs in the DNA damage/repair and cancer.