MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a group of noncoding RNA molecules of 20-23 nucleotides length that negatively regulate gene expressions in numerous cellular processes. Through complementary paring with target mRNAs, miRNAs have frequently emerged as dual regulators of cancer development by acting on multiple signaling pathways, thereby act as novel biomarkers for cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and prediction of response to treatment. As one of them, miR-30a has been found to act as an onco-suppressor of tumorigenesis pathways through inhibition of cellular proliferation, migration and invasion. Simultaneously, miR-30a plays a progressing role in several types of cancer, determined by relevant target genes as well. In the present review, we summarize recent research regarding miR-30a, including its biological function, expression and regulation, especially focusing on its role in cancer development and progression. Clinically, miR-30a may serve as a potential target in the diagnosis and therapy of human cancer.

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