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Review Article

Cancer Pathways Targeted by Berberine: Role of microRNAs


Mansoor Ali, Deepali Mishra and Rana P. Singh*   Pages 1 - 21 ( 21 )


Cancer is a complex and heterogeneous malignant disease. Due to its multifactorial nature, including progressive changes in genetic, epigenetic, transcript, and protein levels, conventional therapeutics fail to save cancer patients. Evidence indicates that dysregulation of microRNA (miRNA) expression plays a crucial role in tumorigenesis, metastasis, cell proliferation, differentiation, metabolism, and signaling pathways. Moreover, miRNAs can be used as diagnostic and prognostic markers and therapeutic targets in cancer. Berberine, a naturally occurring plant alkaloid, has a wide spectrum of biological activities in different types of cancers. Inhibition of cell proliferation, metastasis, migration, invasion, and angiogenesis, as well as induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in cancer cells, is reported by berberine. Recent studies suggested that berberine regulates many oncogenic and tumor suppressor miRNAs implicated in different phases of cancer. This review discussed how berberine inhibits cancer growth and propagation and regulates miRNAs in cancer cells. And how berberine-mediated miRNA regulation changes the landscape of transcripts and proteins that promote or suppress cancer progression. Overall, the underlying molecular pathways altered by berberine and miRNA influencing the tumor pathophysiology will enhance our understanding to combat the malignancy.


Cancer, berberine, miRNA, transcriptome, cellular pathways, biomarker.


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