Acquired genetic and epigenetic alterations in normal cells give rise to transformed cells, which lead to tumor development. Elucidation of the precise mechanisms underlying primary and metastatic tumor formation is required. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that play a major role in post-transcriptional gene regulation during various biological processes. Accumulating evidence suggests that dysregulation of miRNAs is intimately involved in the carcinogenesis, progression and metastasis of many cancers, including gastric cancers (GCs), while the alteration of certain miRNAs provides biomarkers to detect early GCs. This review summarizes the most recent findings into the mechanisms of miRNA-mediated regulation of GCs, which will support the development of diagnostic biomarkers and novel therapeutic strategies.
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