MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of 21–23 nucleotides(nt), non- coding RNAs that regulate gene expression network post-transcriptionally[1]. Studies in different organisms have shown the role of miRNAs as critical components of gene regulatory networks in eukaryotes and they are estimated to regulate at least 50% of the human gene expression[2]. Recent studies have verified the significant role of miRNAs in a broad range of biological activities, such as cell proliferation, differentiation, senescence, metabolism, apoptosis, and life span[2, 3]. miRNA research has attracted a lot of attention among biomedical researchers focusing on human diseases. These studies have uncovered the critical regulatory functions of miRNAs in varieties of human disorders ranging from cancers[4], autoimmune[5] and infectious diseases[6] to cardiac[7] and neurological disorders[8]. miRNAs are expected to be clinically valuable as therapeutic agents[9, 10], biomarkers for diagnosis, assessment of disease progression and response to drugs[11-15]. Consequently, miRNA research is crucial to fully comprehend the molecular underpinnings of human diseases as well as the basic aspects of eukaryotic physiology.

 


 

1.            Bartel DP. MicroRNAs: target recognition and regulatory functions, Cell 2009;136:215-233.

2.            Huntzinger E, Izaurralde E. Gene silencing by microRNAs: contributions of translational repression and mRNA decay, Nat Rev Genet 2011;12:99-110.

3.            Dai R, Ahmed SA. MicroRNA, a new paradigm for understanding immunoregulation, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases, Transl Res 2011;157:163-179.

4.            Jansson MD, Lund AH. MicroRNA and cancer, Mol Oncol 2012;6:590-610.

5.            Quintero-Ronderos P, Montoya-Ortiz G. Epigenetics and autoimmune diseases, Autoimmune Dis 2012;2012:593720.

6.            Kumar A. MicroRNA in HCV infection and liver cancer, Biochim Biophys Acta 2011;1809:694-699.

7.            Yu S, Li G. MicroRNA expression and function in cardiac ischemic injury, J Cardiovasc Transl Res 2010;3:241-245.

8.            Salta E, De Strooper B. Non-coding RNAs with essential roles in neurodegenerative disorders, Lancet Neurol 2012;11:189-200.

9.            Fiedler J, Gupta SK, Thum T. MicroRNA-based therapeutic approaches in the cardiovascular system, Cardiovasc Ther 2012;30:e9-e15.

10.          Jackson A, Linsley PS. The therapeutic potential of microRNA modulation, Discov Med 2010;9:311-318.

11.          Rukov JL, Shomron N. MicroRNA pharmacogenomics: post-transcriptional regulation of drug response, Trends Mol Med 2011;17:412-423.

12.          Du L, Pertsemlidis A. microRNA regulation of cell viability and drug sensitivity in lung cancer, Expert Opin Biol Ther 2012;12:1221-1239.

13.          Kosaka N, Iguchi H, Ochiya T. Circulating microRNA in body fluid: a new potential biomarker for cancer diagnosis and prognosis, Cancer Sci 2010;101:2087-2092.

14.          Luo X, Burwinkel B, Tao S et al. MicroRNA signatures: novel biomarker for colorectal cancer?, Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2011;20:1272-1286.

15.          Zen K, Zhang CY. Circulating microRNAs: a novel class of biomarkers to diagnose and monitor human cancers, Med Res Rev 2012;32:326-348.