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PIWI-interacting RNA (piRNAs), once thought to be mainly functioning in germlines, are now known to play an essential role in somatic and cancerous tissues. Ping-pong cycle initiation and mitochondria-based phased production constitute the core of the piRNA biogenesis and these two processes are well conserved in mammals, including humans. By being involved in DNA methylation, histone marker deposition, mRNA degradation, and protein modification, piRNAs also contribute to carcinogenesis partly due to oncogenic stress-induced piRNA dysregulation. Also, piRNAs play important roles in cancer stemness, drug resistance, and tumor immunology. Results from liquid biopsy analysis of piRNA can be used in both cancer diagnoses and cancer prognoses. A combination of targeting piRNA with other therapeutic strategies could be groundbreaking cancer treatment.

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Genes & Diseases


This article was published in Genes & Diseases.

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