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Non-Coding RNAs in Saliva: Emerging Biomarkers for Molecular Diagnostics

Research Unit in Biomedicine and Translational Oncology, Lab 209, Collserola Building, Vall Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and University Hospital, Pg. Vall Hebron 119-129, 08035 Barcelona, Spain
IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute & Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, 08908 Barcelona, Spain
Center for Oral/Head & Neck Oncology Research, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Camile S. Farah
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8676-8698;
Received: 23 February 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Classes of Biomarkers for Molecular Diagnostics)
PDF [1061 KB, uploaded 17 April 2015]


Saliva is a complex body fluid that comprises secretions from the major and minor salivary glands, which are extensively supplied by blood. Therefore, molecules such as proteins, DNA, RNA, etc., present in plasma could be also present in saliva. Many studies have reported that saliva body fluid can be useful for discriminating several oral diseases, but also systemic diseases including cancer. Most of these studies revealed messenger RNA (mRNA) and proteomic biomarker signatures rather than specific non-coding RNA (ncRNA) profiles. NcRNAs are emerging as new regulators of diverse biological functions, playing an important role in oncogenesis and tumor progression. Indeed, the small size of these molecules makes them very stable in different body fluids and not as susceptible as mRNAs to degradation by ribonucleases (RNases). Therefore, the development of a non-invasive salivary test, based on ncRNAs profiles, could have a significant applicability to clinical practice, not only by reducing the cost of the health system, but also by benefitting the patient. Here, we summarize the current status and clinical implications of the ncRNAs present in human saliva as a source of biological information. View Full-Text
Keywords: saliva; liquid biopsy; body fluid; disease; diagnostics; non-invasiveness; biomarkers; non-coding RNA (ncRNAs); small ncRNAs; long ncRNAs saliva; liquid biopsy; body fluid; disease; diagnostics; non-invasiveness; biomarkers; non-coding RNA (ncRNAs); small ncRNAs; long ncRNAs

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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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Majem, B.; Rigau, M.; Reventós, J.; Wong, D.T. Non-Coding RNAs in Saliva: Emerging Biomarkers for Molecular Diagnostics. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 8676-8698.

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