MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) is an oncomiR and significantly upregulated in a wide range of cancers. It is strongly involved in apoptosis and oncogenesis, since most of its reported targets are tumor suppressors. Recently, miR-21 was found to be correlated with the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and may play an essential role in regulating autoimmune responses. In particular, miR-21 promotes Th17 cell differentiation, which mediates the development of multiple autoimmune diseases. In this article, we review the current research on the mechanisms that regulate miR-21 expression, the potential of miR-21 as a diagnostic biomarker for autoimmune disease and the mechanisms by which miR-21 promotes the development of autoimmune disease. We also discussed the therapeutic potential of targeting miR-21 in treating patients with autoimmune disease.
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