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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(1), 9; doi:10.3390/ijms18010009

Plant MicroRNAs—Novel Players in Natural Medicine?

1
Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Pawinskiego 5a, 02-106 Warsaw, Poland
2
Department of Plant Molecular Biology, Institute of Experimental Plant Biology and Biotechnology, University of Warsaw, Miecznikowa 1, 02-096 Warsaw, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andreas Keller
Received: 16 November 2016 / Revised: 14 December 2016 / Accepted: 16 December 2016 / Published: 22 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue microRNA Regulation 2017)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [251 KB, uploaded 22 December 2016]

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent a class of small non-coding RNAs that act as efficient gene expression regulators and thus play many important roles in living organisms. Due to their involvement in several known human pathological and pathogenic states, miRNA molecules have become an important issue in medicine and gained the attention of scientists from the pharmaceutical industry. In recent few years, a growing number of studies have provided evidence that miRNAs may be transferred from one species to another and regulate gene expression in the recipients’ cells. The most intriguing results revealed that stable miRNAs derived from food plants may enter the mammals’ circulatory system and, after reaching the target, inhibit the production of specific mammalian protein. Part of the scientific community has perceived this as an attractive hypothesis that may provide a foundation for novel therapeutic approaches. In turn, others are convinced about the “false positive” effect of performed experiments from which the mentioned results were achieved. In this article, we review the recent literature that provides evidence (from both fronts) of dietary, plant miRNA uptake and functionality in various consumers. Additionally, we discuss possible miRNA transport mechanisms from plant food sources to human cells. View Full-Text
Keywords: microRNA (miRNA); plant; cross-kingdom; gene expression regulation; human; natural medicine; diseases microRNA (miRNA); plant; cross-kingdom; gene expression regulation; human; natural medicine; diseases
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Lukasik, A.; Zielenkiewicz, P. Plant MicroRNAs—Novel Players in Natural Medicine? Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 9.

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