miRNAs as novel immunoregulators in cancer

Saife N. Lone, Ajaz A. Bhat, Nissar A. Wani, Thasni Karedath, Sheema Hashem, Sabah Nisar, Mayank Singh, Puneet Bagga, Bhudev Chandra Das, Davide Bedognetti, Ravinder Reddy, Michael P. Frenneaux, Wael El-Rifai, Mushtaq A. Siddiqi, Mohammad Haris, Muzafar A. Macha

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The immune system is a well-known vital regulator of tumor growth, and one of the main hallmarks of cancer is evading the immune system. Immune system deregulation can lead to immune surveillance evasion, sustained cancer growth, proliferation, and metastasis. Tumor-mediated disruption of the immune system is accomplished by different mechanisms that involve extensive crosstalk with the immediate microenvironment, which includes endothelial cells, immune cells, and stromal cells, to create a favorable tumor niche that facilitates the development of cancer. The essential role of non-coding RNAs such as microRNAs (miRNAs) in the mechanism of cancer cell immune evasion has been highlighted in recent studies. miRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that regulate a wide range of post-transcriptional gene expression in a cell. Recent studies have focused on the function that miRNAs play in controlling the expression of target proteins linked to immune modulation. Studies show that miRNAs modulate the immune response in cancers by regulating the expression of different immune-modulatory molecules associated with immune effector cells, such as macrophages, dendritic cells, B-cells, and natural killer cells, as well as those present in tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment. This review explores the relationship between miRNAs, their altered patterns of expression in tumors, immune modulation, and the functional control of a wide range of immune cells, thereby offering detailed insights on the crosstalk of tumor-immune cells and their use as prognostic markers or therapeutic agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
StatePublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Exosomes
  • Immune evasion
  • Immune modulation
  • MiRNAs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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