MicroRNAs in HPV associated cancers: small players with big consequences

Sandeep Satapathy, Jyotsna Batra, Varinder Jeet, Erik W. Thompson, C. Punyadeera*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: MicroRNAs (miRs) are short (~20 nucleotides) non-coding ribonuecleic acids (ncRNAs) known to be involved in cellular processes such as proliferation, differentiation, immune response, pathogenicity and tumourigenesis, among many others. The regulatory mechanisms exerted by miRs have been implicated in many cancers, including Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers. Areas covered: In this review, the authors discuss the involvement of miRs (−143, −375, −21, −200, −296 etc.) that have been shown to be dysregulated in HPV-associated cancers. This review also encompasses both intracellular and exosomal miRs, and their potential as diagnostic biomarkers in saliva and blood. The authors have also attempted to dissect the functional impact of miRs on cellular processes such as changes in cellular polarity, loss of apoptosis and tumour suppression, and unchecked and uncontrolled cell cycle regulation, all of which ultimately lead to aberrant cellular proliferation. Expert commentary: Identification of dysregulated miRs in HPV-associated cancers opens up new opportunities to develop diagnostic, therapeutic and prognostic biomarkers. Studies on global expression patterns of miRs dysregulated in HPV-associated cancers can be instrumental in developing broader therapeutic strategies. Therapies like anti-miR, miR-replacement and those based on alternative natural products targeting miRs, need to be improved and better synchronized to be cost-effective and have better treatment outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-722
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Review of Molecular Diagnostics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Mirna
  • miR
  • HPV
  • cervical cancer
  • head and neck cancers
  • apoptosis
  • p53
  • p21
  • oncomirs
  • salivary biomarkers


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