MicroRNAs in endocrine tumors

Henriett Butz, Attila Patócs

Research output: Article

6 Citations (Scopus)


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, protein noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression post-transcrip-tionally. Their role is considered to set the gene expression to the optimal level, or in other words to provide “fine tuning” of gene expression. They regulate essential physiological processes such as differentiation, cell growth, apoptosis and their role is known in tumor development too. At tissue level differential miRNA expression in endocrine disorders including endocrine malignancies has also been reported. A new era of miRNAs-related research started when miRNAs were successfully detected outside of cells, in biofluids, in cell-free environments. Their significant role has been demonstrated in cell-cell communication in tumor biology. Due to their stability circulating miRNAs can serve as potential biomarkers. In common diseases circulating miRNAs can be potentially proposed as screening biomarkers and they are also useful to detect tumor recurrence hence they can be applied in post-surgery follow-up too. MiRNAs as diagnostic markers can also be helpful at tissue level when certain histology diagnosis is challenging. Beside diagnosis, tissue miRNAs have the potential to predict prognosis. Intensive research is carried out regarding endocrine tumors as well in terms of miRNAs. However, until now miRNAs as biomarkers do not applied in routine diagnostics, probably due to the challenging preanalytics. In this review we summarized tissue and circulating miRNAs found in thyroid, adrenal, pituitary and neuroendocrine tumors. We aimed to highlight the most important, selected miRNAs with potential diagnostic and prognostic value both in tissue and circulation. Common miRNAs across different endocrine neoplasms are summarized and miRNAs enriched at 14q31 locus are also highlighted suggesting their general role in tumorigenesis of endocrine glands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-164
Number of pages19
JournalElectronic Journal of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - jan. 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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