Sarcomas are a heterogeneous group of tumors with mesenchymal origins. Sarcomas are broadly classified into bone and soft tissue sarcomas with over 50 subtypes. Despite recent advances in sarcoma classification and treatment strategies, the prognosis of some aggressive sarcoma types remains poor due to treatment infectiveness and development of drug resistance. A better understanding of sarcoma pathobiology will significantly increase the potential for the development of therapeutics and treatment strategies. Recently, expressions of microRNAs (miRNA), a class of small non-coding RNAs, have been found to be deregulated in many sarcomas and are implicated in sarcoma pathobiology. Comprehensive understanding of gene regulatory networks mediated by miRNAs in each sarcoma type and the conservation of some shared/conserved miRNA-gene networks could be potentially investigated in the prevention, diagnosis, prognosis and as multi-modal treatment options in these cancers. In this review, we will discuss the current knowledge of miRNA-gene regulatory networks in various sarcoma types and give a perspective of the complex multilayer miRNA-mediated gene regulation in sarcomas.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Due to space restrictions, we could not cite many significant contributions made by numerous other investigators in this important and rapidly progressing field. We thank Ms. Jennie W. Knoot for assisting with manuscript editing. This work is supported by grants from Minnesota Medical Foundation, Academic Health Center, University of Minnesota and The Karen Wykoff Sarcoma Foundation and the Department of Defense (W81XwH10-1-0556).
- Bone sarcoma
- Gene networks
- Soft tissue sarcoma
- Synovial sarcoma