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Genes 2014, 5(3), 656-670; doi:10.3390/genes5030656

MicroRNAs as Mediators of the Ageing Process

RNA-Mediated Mechanisms of Disease Group, Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, University of Exeter Medical School, Barrack Road, Exeter EX2 5DW, UK
Received: 16 June 2014 / Revised: 22 July 2014 / Accepted: 13 August 2014 / Published: 20 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue miRNA Regulation)
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Abstract

Human ageing is a complex and integrated gradual deterioration of cellular processes. There are nine major hallmarks of ageing, that include changes in DNA repair and DNA damage response, telomere shortening, changes in control over the expression and regulation of genes brought about by epigenetic and mRNA processing changes, loss of protein homeostasis, altered nutrient signaling, mitochondrial dysfunction, stem cell exhaustion, premature cellular senescence and altered intracellular communication. Like practically all other cellular processes, genes associated in features of ageing are regulated by miRNAs. In this review, I will outline each of the features of ageing, together with examples of specific miRNAs that have been demonstrated to be involved in each one. This will demonstrate the interconnected nature of the regulation of transcripts involved in human ageing, and the role of miRNAs in this process. Definition of the factors involved in degeneration of organismal, tissue and cellular homeostasis may provide biomarkers for healthy ageing and increase understanding of the processes that underpin the ageing process itself. View Full-Text
Keywords: miRNA; ageing; senescence miRNA; ageing; senescence
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Harries, L.W. MicroRNAs as Mediators of the Ageing Process. Genes 2014, 5, 656-670.

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