Vol 25, No 5 (2020)
Published online: 2020-09-01

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Good or not good: Role of miR-18a in cancer biology

Tomasz Kolenda123, Kacper Guglas13, Magda Kopczyńska12, Joanna Sobocińska2, Anna Teresiak1, Renata Bliźniak1, Katarzyna Lamperska1
DOI: 10.1016/j.rpor.2020.07.006
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2020;25(5):808-819.


miR-18a is a member of primary transcript called miR-17-92a (C13orf25 or MIR17HG) which also contains five other miRNAs: miR-17, miR-19a, miR-20a, miR-19b and miR-92a. This cluster as a whole shows specific characteristics, where miR-18a seems to be unique. In contrast to the other members, the expression of miR-18a is additionally controlled and probably functions as its own internal controller of the cluster. miR-18a regulates many genes involved in proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis, response to different kinds of stress, autophagy and differentiation. The disturbances of miR-18a expression are observed in cancer as well as in different diseases or pathological states. The miR-17-92a cluster is commonly described as oncogenic and it is known as ‘oncomiR-1’, but this statement is a simplification because miR-18a can act both as an oncogene and a suppressor.

In this review we summarize the current knowledge about miR-18a focusing on its regulation, role in cancer biology and utility as a potential biomarker.

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Reports of Practical Oncology and Radiotherapy