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RNAi and cancer: Implications and applications

RNA interference (RNAi) is an endogenous process that regulates expression of genes and corresponding proteins to maintain homeostasis in diverse organisms. Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) including both long and short ncRNAs are widely expressed and levels of some specific microRNAs are different in tumor and non-tumor tissues. RNAi has been invaluable for unraveling critical pathways involved in cancer development, growth and metastasis and has identified critical tumor-type specific gene targets for chemotherapy. In addition, the development of new derivatized small inhibitory RNAs and more efficient methods of their delivery will facilitate the future development of these ribonucleotides as cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Author(s): Maen Abdelrahim*, Stephen Safe, Cheryl Baker and Ala Abudayyeh