They bind to mRNA of target genes and are potential regulators of gene expression at a post-transcription level through the RNA interference pathway.
They are estimated to represent 1% to 2% of the known eukaryotic genome, and it has been demonstrated that they are involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, metabolism disorders, and heart disease. MicroRNAs are known to act as tumor suppressors or oncogenes in cancer biology.
The authors describe the current knowledge on microRNA involvement in regulatory pathways that characterize multiple myeloma pathogenesis gained from in vitro and in vivo studies.
These small molecules interact with important factors such as p53, SOCS1, IGF-1, IGF-1R, vascular endothelial growth factor, NF-κB, and others.
As such, microRNAs represent an attractive therapeutic target in the context of multiple myeloma interfering with the myeloma regulatory networks.
Further studies are needed to better understand their role in myelomagenesis and their therapeutic potential.