The miRNA-kallikrein interaction: a mosaic of epigenetic regulation in cancer

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The kallikrein-related peptidases (KLKs) constitute a family of 15 highly conserved serine proteases with trypsin- and chymotrypsin-like activities. Dysregulated expression and/or aberrant activation of KLKs has been linked to various pathophysiological processes, including cancer. Many KLKs have been identified as potential cancer biomarkers. microRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression by pairing to the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of complimentary mRNA targets. miRNAs are dysregulated in many cancers, including prostate, kidney and ovarian cancers. Several studies have shown that miRNAs are involved in the post-transcriptional regulation of KLKs. However, recent evidence suggests that miRNAs can also act as downstream effectors of KLKs. In this review, we provide an update on the epigenetic regulation of KLKs by miRNAs. We also present recent experimental evidence that supports the regulatory role of KLKs on miRNA networks. The potential diagnostic and therapeutic applications of miRNA-kallikrein interactions are also discussed.

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