microRNAs and cancer metabolism reprogramming: the paradigm of metformin.
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Increasing evidence witnesses that cancer metabolism alterations represent a critical hallmark for many types of human tumors. There is a strong need to understand and dissect the molecular mechanisms underlying cancer metabolism to envisage specific biomarkers and underpin critical molecular components that might represent novel therapeutic targets. One challenge, that is the focus of this review, is the reprogramming of the altered metabolism of a cancer cell toward that of un-transformed cell. The anti-hyperglicemic agent, metformin has proven to be effective in reprogramming the metabolism of cancer cells even from those subpopulations endowed with cancer stem like features and very high chemoresistenace to conventional anticancer treatments. A functional interplay involving selective modulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) takes place along the anticancer metabolic effects exerted by metformin. The implications of this interplay will be also discussed in this review.