Abstract Epithelial ovarian cancer is the most common cause of death from gynecological malignancies in the Western world. The overall 5-year survival is only 30% due to late diagnosis and development of resistance to chemotherapy. There is, therefore, a strong need for prognostic and predictive markers to help optimize and personalize treatment hence ameliorating the prognosis of ovarian cancer patients. Since 2006, an increasing number of studies have indicated an essential role for microRNAs in ovarian cancer tumorigenesis. In this review, we provide an overview of the microRNAs that have been associated with different aspects of ovarian cancer, such as tumor subtype, stage, histological grade, germline mutations in BRCA genes, prognosis and therapy resistance. We highlight the role of the let-7 and miR-200 families, two major microRNA families that are frequently dysregulated in ovarian cancer and have been associated with poor prognosis. Interestingly, both have been implicated in the regulation of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, a cellular transition associated with tumor aggressiveness, tumor invasion and chemoresistance. Furthermore, we discuss several other microRNAs that have been associated with chemotherapy resistance, such as miR-214, miR-130a, miR-27a and miR-451. In the final section, we speculate on the possibilities of microRNA-based therapies and the use of microRNAs as diagnostic tools.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Drug Resistance, Neoplasm/*genetics, Female, Humans, Let-7 family, MicroRNAs/genetics/*metabolism, Ovarian Neoplasms/*drug therapy/*genetics/pathology, Ovarian cancer, Therapy resistance, miR-200 family
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocel.2010.01.014, hdl.handle.net/1765/22066
Citation
van Jaarsveld, M.T.M., Helleman, J., Berns, P.M.J.J., & Wiemer, E.A.C.. (2010). MicroRNAs in ovarian cancer biology and therapy resistance. The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, 42(8), 1282–1290. doi:10.1016/j.biocel.2010.01.014