Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a complex multi-system neurodegenerative disorder with currently limited diagnostic and no therapeutic options. Despite the intense efforts no clinically applicable biomarkers for ALS are yet established. Most current research is thus focused, in particular, in identifying potential non-invasive circulating biomarkers for more rapid and accurate diagnosis and monitoring of the disease. In this review, we have focused on messenger RNA (mRNA), non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), micro RNAs (miRNAs) and circular RNA (circRNAs) as potential biomarkers for ALS in peripheral blood serum, plasma and cells. The most promising miRNAs include miR-206, miR-133b, miR-27a, mi-338-3p, miR-183, miR-451, let-7 and miR-125b. To test clinical potential of this miRNA panel, a useful approach may be to perform such analysis on larger multi-center scale using similar experimental design. However, other types of RNAs (lncRNAs, circRNAs and mRNAs) that, together with miRNAs, represent RNA networks, have not been yet extensively studied in blood samples of patients with ALS. Additional research has to be done in order to find robust circulating biomarkers and therapeutic targets that will distinguish key RNA interactions in specific ALS-types to facilitate diagnosis, predict progression and design therapy.
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