MicroRNAs in pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of gastroesophageal cancers

Jee Hoon Song, Stephen J. Meltzer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


The incidence of gastroesophageal cancers is increasing each year, but despite much research, their molecular mechanisms are incompletely understood. microRNAs (miRNAs) are noncoding RNAs that have been associated with gastroesophageal carcinogenesis. We review the involvement of miRNAs in gastric and esophageal cancers and their mechanisms of regulation, effects on gene expression, and biological functions. Many miRNAs are dysregulated in gastroesophageal cancer cells via alterations in transcription, epigenetic features, or copy number of the genes that encode them. Each type of gastroesophageal tumor has a unique gene expression profile. miRNAs contribute to gastroesophageal carcinogenesis by altering expression of oncogenes and tumor suppressors to affect cell proliferation, apoptosis, and motility and invasion. A number of miRNAs, including circulating miRNAs, have been associated with tumor type or stage, or patient survival, and might be developed as diagnostic or prognostic markers. Greater understanding of the roles of miRNAs in gastroesophageal carcinogenesis could provide insights into the mechanisms of tumor development and identify therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-47.e2
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Esophageal Carcinoma
  • Gastric Carcinoma
  • MicroRNA
  • Noncoding RNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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