The role of microRNA-338-3p in cancer: growth, invasion, chemoresistance, and mediators

Sepideh Mirzaei, Ali Zarrabi, Sholeh Etehad Asnaf, Farid Hashemi, Amirhossein Zabolian, Kiavash Hushmandi, Mehdi Raei, Mohammad Ali Sheikh Beig Goharrizi, Pooyan Makvandi, Saeed Samarghandian, Masoud Najafi, Milad Ashrafizadeh, Amir Reza Aref, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer still remains as one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Metastasis and proliferation are abnormally increased in cancer cells that subsequently, mediate resistance of cancer cells to different therapies such as radio-, chemo- and immune-therapy. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous short non-coding RNAs that can regulate expression of target genes at post-transcriptional level and capable of interaction with mRNA-coding genes. Vital biological mechanisms including apoptosis, migration and differentiation are modulated by these small molecules. MiRNAs are key players in regulating cancer proliferation and metastasis as well as cancer therapy response. MiRNAs can function as both tumor-suppressing and tumor-promoting factors. In the present review, regulatory impact of miRNA-338-3p on cancer growth and migration is discussed. This new emerging miRNA can regulate response of cancer cells to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It seems that miRNA-338-3p has dual role in cancer chemotherapy, acting as tumor-promoting or tumor-suppressor factor. Experiments reveal anti-tumor activity of miRNA-338-3p in cancer. Hence, increasing miRNA-338-3p expression is of importance in effective cancer therapy. Long non-coding RNAs, circular RNAs and hypoxia are potential upstream mediators of miRNA-338-3p in cancer. Anti-tumor agents including baicalin and arbutin can promote expression of miRNA-338-3p in suppressing cancer progression. These topics are discussed to shed some light on function of miRNA-338-3p in cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119005
JournalLife Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Circular RNA
  • Long non-coding RNA
  • MicroRNA 338-3p

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (all)


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