Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(1):236-246. doi:10.7150/ijbs.51123 This issue


miR-340: A multifunctional role in human malignant diseases

Zheng Huang1,2, Yesha Xu1, Maoping Wan1, Xixi Zeng1, Jianmin Wu1✉

1. Institute of Genomic Medicine, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325035, Zhejiang, P.R. China.
2. Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, P.R. China.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Huang Z, Xu Y, Wan M, Zeng X, Wu J. miR-340: A multifunctional role in human malignant diseases. Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(1):236-246. doi:10.7150/ijbs.51123. Available from

File import instruction


Graphic abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of short non-coding RNAs of approximately 22 nucleotides in length, which function by binding to the 3' UTR sequences of their target mRNAs. It has been reported that dysregulated miRNAs play pivotal roles in numerous diseases, including cancers, such as gastric, breast, colorectal, ovarian, and other cancers. Recent research efforts have been devoted to translating these basic discoveries into clinical applications that could improve the therapeutic outcome in patients with cancer. Early studies have shown that miR-340 may act either as an oncogene or a tumor suppressor by targeting genes related to proliferation, apoptosis, and metastasis, as well as those associated with diagnosis, treatment, chemoresistance, and prognosis. miR-340 has been shown to have a role in other diseases, such as autoimmune diseases, acute stroke, and alcoholic steatohepatitis. Nevertheless, the roles of miR-340 in human malignancies are still unclear, and the associated mechanisms are complex, involving a variety of signaling pathways, such as Wnt/β-catenin and the JAK-STAT pathways. Herein, we review the crucial roles of miR-340 in human cancers through the analysis of the latest research studies, with the aim of clarifying miR-340 function in malignant disease diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis, and to propose further investigations.

Keywords: microRNAs, miR-340, malignant diseases, cancers, drug resistance