The role of piRNA and its potential clinical implications in cancer

Carolina Baraúna Assumpção, Danielle Queiroz Calcagno, Taíssa Maíra Thomaz Araújo, Sidney Emmanuel Batista Dos Santos, Ândrea Kely Campos Ribeiro Dos Santos, Gregory Joseph Riggins, Rommel Rodriguez Burbano, Paulo Pimentel Assumpção

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Epigenetic mechanisms work in an orchestrated fashion to control gene expression in both homeostasis and diseases. Among small noncoding RNAs, piRNAs seem to meet the necessary requirements to be included in this epigenetic network due to their role in both transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation. piRNAs and PIWI proteins might play important roles in cancer occurrence, prognosis and treatment as reported previously. Nevertheless, the potential clinical relevance of these molecules has yet been elucidated. A brief overview of piRNA biogenesis and their potential roles as part of an epigenetic network that is possibly involved in cancer is provided. Moreover, potential strategies based on the use of piRNAs and PIWI proteins as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers as well as for cancer therapeutics are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)975-984
Number of pages10
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2015


  • PIWI
  • cancer biomarker
  • cancer therapy
  • epigenetic network
  • piRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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