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Genes 2017, 8(9), 234; doi:10.3390/genes8090234

Circulating microRNAs and Bioinformatics Tools to Discover Novel Diagnostic Biomarkers of Pediatric Diseases

Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital-IRCCS, Research Laboratories, 00146 Rome, Italy
Department of Ecology and Biology, Università della Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 8 September 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-coding RNAs)
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Current studies have shown that miRNAs are also present in extracellular spaces, packaged into various membrane-bound vesicles, or associated with RNA-binding proteins. Circulating miRNAs are highly stable and can act as intercellular messengers to affect many physiological processes. MicroRNAs circulating in body fluids have generated strong interest in their potential use as clinical biomarkers. In fact, their remarkable stability and the relative ease of detection make circulating miRNAs ideal tools for rapid and non-invasive diagnosis. This review summarizes recent insights about the origin, functions and diagnostic potential of extracellular miRNAs by especially focusing on pediatric diseases in order to explore the feasibility of alternative sampling sources for the development of non-invasive pediatric diagnostics. We will also discuss specific bioinformatics tools and databases for circulating miRNAs focused on the identification and discovery of novel diagnostic biomarkers of pediatric diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: circulating microRNAs; biomarkers; bioinformatics tools; pediatric diseases; body fluids circulating microRNAs; biomarkers; bioinformatics tools; pediatric diseases; body fluids

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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Baldassarre, A.; Felli, C.; Prantera, G.; Masotti, A. Circulating microRNAs and Bioinformatics Tools to Discover Novel Diagnostic Biomarkers of Pediatric Diseases. Genes 2017, 8, 234.

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