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Genes 2014, 5(4), 865-886; doi:10.3390/genes5040865

The Role of microRNAs in Mitochondria: Small Players Acting Wide

1
Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra 3004-504, Portugal
2
Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Coimbra 3000-456, Portugal
3
Department of Biology, University of Aveiro, Aveiro 3810-193, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 July 2014 / Revised: 5 September 2014 / Accepted: 5 September 2014 / Published: 26 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue miRNA Regulation)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2050 KB, uploaded 26 September 2014]   |  

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, single-stranded, non-coding RNA molecules that act as post-transcriptional gene regulators. They can inhibit target protein-coding genes, through repressing messenger RNA (mRNA) translation or promoting their degradation. miRNAs were initially found to be originated from nuclear genome and exported to cytosol; where they exerted most of their actions. More recently, miRNAs were found to be present specifically in mitochondria; even originated there from mitochondrial DNA, regulating in a direct manner genes coding for mitochondrial proteins, and consequently mitochondrial function. Since miRNAs are recognized as major players in several biological processes, they are being considered as a key to better understand, explain, and probably prevent/cure not only the pathogenesis of multifactorial diseases but also mitochondrial dysfunction and associated diseases. Here we review some of the molecular mechanisms purported for miRNA actions in several biological processes, particularly the miRNAs acting in mitochondria or in mitochondria-related mechanisms. View Full-Text
Keywords: metabolism; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; miRNAS; OXPHOS metabolism; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; miRNAS; OXPHOS
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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MDPI and ACS Style

Duarte, F.V.; Palmeira, C.M.; Rolo, A.P. The Role of microRNAs in Mitochondria: Small Players Acting Wide. Genes 2014, 5, 865-886.

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