MiR clusters target cellular functional complexes by defining their degree of regulatory freedom

Jörg Haier*, Anda Ströse, Christiane Matuszcak, Richard Hummel

*Corresponding author for this work
11 Citations (Scopus)


Using the two paralog miR-23∼27∼24 clusters as an example and combining experimental and clinical data in a systematical approach to microRNA (miR) function and dysregulation, a complex picture of their roles in cancer is drawn. Various findings appear to be contradictory to a larger extent and cannot be fully explained by the classical regulatory network models and feedback loops that are mainly considered by one-to-one regulatory interactions of the involved molecules. Here, we propose an extended model of the regulatory role of miRs that, at least, supplements the usually considered single/oligo-target regulation of certain miRs. The cellular availability of the participating miR members in this model reflects an upper hierarchy level of intracellular and extracellular environmental influences, such as neighboring cells, soluble factors, hypoxia, chemotherapeutic drugs, and irradiation, among others. The novel model is based on the understanding of cellular functional complexes, such as for apoptosis, migration, and proliferation. These complexes consist of many regulatory components that can be targeted by miR cluster members to a different extent but may affect the functional complex in different ways. We propose that the final miR-related effect is a result of the possible degree of regulatory freedom provided by the miR effects on the whole functional complex structure. This degree of regulatory freedom defines to which extent the cellular functional complex can react in response to regulatory triggers, also understood as sensitization (more regulatory response options) or de-sensitization (less regulatory response options) of the system rather than single molecules.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCancer and Metastasis Reviews
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)289-322
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 01.06.2016

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)


Dive into the research topics of 'MiR clusters target cellular functional complexes by defining their degree of regulatory freedom'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this