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"miR miR on the wall, who's the most malignant medulloblastoma miR of them all?"

ABSTRACT

miRNAs have wide-ranging effects on large-scale gene regulation. As such, they play a vital role in dictating normal development and its aberrant expression has been implicated in cancer. There has been a large body of research on the role of miRNAs in medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood. The identification of the four molecular subgroups with distinct biological, genetic and transcriptional features has revolutionized the field of medulloblastoma research over the past five years. Despite this, the growing body of research focused on miRNAs in medulloblastoma have largely focused on the clinical entity of a single disease rather than the molecular subgroups. This review begins by highlighting the role of miRNAs in development and progresses to explore its myriad of implications in cancer. Medulloblastoma is characterized by increased proliferation, inhibition of apoptosis, and maintenance of stemness programs; features that are inadvertently regulated by altered expression patterns in miRNAs. This review aims to contextualize the large body of work on miRNAs within the framework of medulloblastoma subgroups. The goal of this review is to stimulate new areas of research, including potential therapeutics, within a rapidly growing field.