Topical Collection "Regulatory Functions of microRNAs"

A topical collection in Cells (ISSN 2073-4409). This collection belongs to the section "Cell Nuclei: Function, Transport and Receptors".

Editors

Dr. Giorgio Malpeli
Website
Collection Editor
Department of Surgical Science, Dentistry, Gynecology and Pediatrics, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
Interests: stem cells; epigenetic mechanisms; noncoding RNAs; cancer stem cells
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Y-h. Taguchi
Website
Collection Editor
Department of Physics, Chuo University, Tokyo 112-8551, Japan
Interests: bioinformatics; gene expression analysis; feature selection; tensor decomposition
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

MicroRNAs (miRNAs), short non-coding RNAs, have been shown to be involved in all cellular processes and in the pathogenesis of many human disorders, ranging from cancers to autoimmune diseases. However, the role of miRNAs in its detailed mechanisms concerning the initiation and progression of these diseases is still mostly uncharacterized. Therefore, researchers describe their mechanisms of actions, expression patterns and cellular pathways in which they are especially important. This Special Issue seeks reviews and original papers covering a wide range of topics related to microRNA biology, such as miRNA therapeutics, miRNA regulation in various disorders (cancer, metabolism, autoimmunity or others), interactions between miRNAs and target genes, pathway analyses, and other related topics. Studies involving non-human organisms are also welcome.

Dr. Giorgio Malpeli
Prof. Y-h. Taguchi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • miRNA regulation
  • biomarker
  • pathway analysis
  • cancer
  • metabolism and diabetes
  • autoimmunity
  • aging
  • target genes
  • expression patterns

Published Papers (28 papers)

2020

Jump to: 2019

Open AccessArticle
The Role of miR-21 in Osteoblasts–Osteoclasts Coupling In Vitro
Cells 2020, 9(2), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9020479 - 19 Feb 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
MiR-21 is being gradually more and more recognized as a molecule regulating bone tissue homeostasis. However, its function is not fully understood due to the dual role of miR-21 on bone-forming and bone-resorbing cells. In this study, we investigated the impact of miR-21 [...] Read more.
MiR-21 is being gradually more and more recognized as a molecule regulating bone tissue homeostasis. However, its function is not fully understood due to the dual role of miR-21 on bone-forming and bone-resorbing cells. In this study, we investigated the impact of miR-21 inhibition on pre-osteoblastic cells differentiation and paracrine signaling towards pre-osteoclasts using indirect co-culture model of mouse pre-osteoblast (MC3T3) and pre-osteoclast (4B12) cell lines. The inhibition of miR-21 in MC3T3 cells (MC3T3inh21) modulated expression of genes encoding osteogenic markers including collagen type I (Coll-1), osteocalcin (Ocl), osteopontin (Opn), and runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx-2). Inhibition of miR-21 in osteogenic cultures of MC3T3 also inflected the synthesis of OPN protein which is essential for proper mineralization of extracellular matrix (ECM) and anchoring osteoclasts to the bones. Furthermore, it was shown that in osteoblasts miR-21 regulates expression of factors that are vital for survival of pre-osteoclast, such as receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL). The pre-osteoclast cultured with MC3T3inh21 cells was characterized by lowered expression of several markers associated with osteoclasts’ differentiation, foremost tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (Trap) but also receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (Rank), cathepsin K (Ctsk), carbonic anhydrase II (CaII), and matrix metalloproteinase (Mmp-9). Collectively, our data indicate that the inhibition of miR-21 in MC3T3 cells impairs the differentiation and ECM mineralization as well as influences paracrine signaling leading to decreased viability of pre-osteoclasts. Full article
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Open AccessReview
miRNAs as Influencers of Cell–Cell Communication in Tumor Microenvironment
Cells 2020, 9(1), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010220 - 15 Jan 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
microRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the posttranscriptional level, inducing the degradation of the target mRNA or translational repression. MiRNAs are involved in the control of a multiplicity of biological processes, and their absence or altered expression has [...] Read more.
microRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the posttranscriptional level, inducing the degradation of the target mRNA or translational repression. MiRNAs are involved in the control of a multiplicity of biological processes, and their absence or altered expression has been associated with a variety of human diseases, including cancer. Recently, extracellular miRNAs (ECmiRNAs) have been described as mediators of intercellular communication in multiple contexts, including tumor microenvironment. Cancer cells cooperate with stromal cells and elements of the extracellular matrix (ECM) to establish a comfortable niche to grow, to evade the immune system, and to expand. Within the tumor microenvironment, cells release ECmiRNAs and other factors in order to influence and hijack the physiological processes of surrounding cells, fostering tumor progression. Here, we discuss the role of miRNAs in the pathogenesis of multicomplex diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and cancer, focusing on the contribution of both intracellular miRNAs, and of released ECmiRNAs in the establishment and development of cancer niche. We also review growing evidence suggesting the use of miRNAs as novel targets or potential tools for therapeutic applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of CNS Injury-Related microRNAs as Novel Toll-Like Receptor 7/8 Signaling Activators by Small RNA Sequencing
Cells 2020, 9(1), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010186 - 11 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) belong to pattern recognition receptors, which respond to danger signals such as pathogen-associated molecular patterns or damage-associated molecular patterns. Upon TLR activation in microglia, the major immune cells in the brain, distinct signaling cascades trigger the production of inflammatory molecules, [...] Read more.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) belong to pattern recognition receptors, which respond to danger signals such as pathogen-associated molecular patterns or damage-associated molecular patterns. Upon TLR activation in microglia, the major immune cells in the brain, distinct signaling cascades trigger the production of inflammatory molecules, being a critical feature in neuroinflammation and neurodegenerative processes. Recently, individual microRNAs (miRNAs) were shown to act as endogenous TLR ligands. Here, we conducted systematic screening for miRNAs as potential TLR7/8 ligands by small RNA sequencing of apoptotic neurons and their corresponding supernatants. Several miRNA species were identified in both supernatants and injured neurons, and 83.3% of the media-enriched miRNAs activated murine and/or human TLR7/8 expressed in HEK293-derived TLR reporter cells. Among the detected extracellular miRNAs, distinct miRNAs such as miR-340-3p and miR-132-5p induced cytokine and chemokine release from microglia and triggered neurotoxicity in vitro. Taken together, our systematic study establishes miRNAs released from injured neurons as new TLR7/8 activators, which contribute to inflammatory and neurodegenerative responses in the central nervous system (CNS). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
miR-26a is Involved in Glycometabolism and Affects Boar Sperm Viability by Targeting PDHX
Cells 2020, 9(1), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010146 - 08 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
miR-26a is associated with sperm metabolism and can affect sperm motility and apoptosis. However, how miR-26a affects sperm motility remains largely unknown. Our previous study indicated that the PDHX gene is predicted to be a potential target of miR-26a, which is responsible for [...] Read more.
miR-26a is associated with sperm metabolism and can affect sperm motility and apoptosis. However, how miR-26a affects sperm motility remains largely unknown. Our previous study indicated that the PDHX gene is predicted to be a potential target of miR-26a, which is responsible for pyruvate oxidative decarboxylation which is considered as a key step for connecting glycolysis with oxidative phosphorylation. In this study, we first reported a potential relationship between miR-26a and PDHX and their expressions in fresh, frozen-thawed, and epididymal boar sperm. Then, sperm viability and survival were determined after transfection of miR-26a. mRNA and protein expression level of PDHX in the liquid-preserved boar sperm after transfection were also determined by RT-qPCR and Western Blot (WB). Our results showed that expression level of PDHX was significantly increased during sperm transit from epididymal caput to corpus and cauda. Similarly, expression of PDHX was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in fresh sperm as compared to epididymal cauda and frozen-thawed sperm. However, the expression of miR-26a in epididymal corpus sperm was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than that of caput and cauda sperm. Furthermore, after transfection of boar sperm with miR-26a mimic and inhibitor under liquid storage, the lowest and highest sperm viability was observed in miR-26a mimic and inhibitor treatment (P < 0.05), respectively. The protein levels of PDHX, after 24 and 48 h of transfection of miR-26a mimics and inhibitor, were notably decreased and increased (P < 0.05), respectively, as compared to negative control (NC) group. In conclusion, the novel and enticing findings of our study provide a reasonable evidence that miR-26a via PDHX, a link between glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation, could regulate the glycometabolic pathway which eventually affect boar sperm viability and survival. Full article
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Open AccessReview
MicroRNAs: Biological Regulators in Pathogen–Host Interactions
Cells 2020, 9(1), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010113 - 02 Jan 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
An inflammatory response is essential for combating invading pathogens. Several effector components, as well as immune cell populations, are involved in mounting an immune response, thereby destroying pathogenic organisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. In the past decade, microRNAs (miRNAs), a [...] Read more.
An inflammatory response is essential for combating invading pathogens. Several effector components, as well as immune cell populations, are involved in mounting an immune response, thereby destroying pathogenic organisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. In the past decade, microRNAs (miRNAs), a group of noncoding small RNAs, have emerged as functionally significant regulatory molecules with the significant capability of fine-tuning biological processes. The important role of miRNAs in inflammation and immune responses is highlighted by studies in which the regulation of miRNAs in the host was shown to be related to infectious diseases and associated with the eradication or susceptibility of the infection. Here, we review the biological aspects of microRNAs, focusing on their roles as regulators of gene expression during pathogen–host interactions and their implications in the immune response against Leishmania, Trypanosoma, Toxoplasma, and Plasmodium infectious diseases. Full article
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2019

Jump to: 2020

Open AccessArticle
miR-9-5p Exerts a Dual Role in Cervical Cancer and Targets Transcription Factor TWIST1
Cells 2020, 9(1), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010065 - 26 Dec 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adenocarcinoma (AC) represent the major cervical cancer histotypes. Both histotypes are caused by infection with high-risk HPV (hrHPV) and are associated with deregulated microRNA expression. Histotype-dependent expression has been observed for miR-9-5p, showing increased expression in SCC and [...] Read more.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adenocarcinoma (AC) represent the major cervical cancer histotypes. Both histotypes are caused by infection with high-risk HPV (hrHPV) and are associated with deregulated microRNA expression. Histotype-dependent expression has been observed for miR-9-5p, showing increased expression in SCC and low expression in AC. Here, we studied the regulation and functionality of miR-9-5p in cervical SCCs and ACs using cervical tissue samples and hrHPV-containing cell lines. Expression and methylation analysis of cervical tissues revealed that low levels of miR-9-5p in ACs are linked to methylation of its precursor genes, particularly miR-9-1. Stratification of tissue samples and hrHPV-containing cell lines suggested that miR-9-5p depends on both histotype and hrHPV type, with higher expression in SCCs and HPV16-positive cells. MiR-9-5p promoted cell viability and anchorage independence in cervical cancer cell lines SiHa (SCC, HPV16) and CaSki (metastasized SCC, HPV16), while it played a tumor suppressive role in HeLa (AC, HPV18). TWIST1, a transcription factor involved in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), was established as a novel miR-9-5p target. Our results show that miR-9-5p plays a dual role in cervical cancer in a histotype- and hrHPV type-dependent manner. MiR-9-5p mediated silencing of TWIST1 suggests two distinct mechanisms towards EMT in cervical cancer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Brain-Derived Extracellular Vesicle microRNA Signatures Associated with In Utero and Postnatal Oxycodone Exposure
Cells 2020, 9(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010021 - 19 Dec 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
Oxycodone (oxy) is a semi-synthetic opioid commonly used as a pain medication that is also a widely abused prescription drug. While very limited studies have examined the effect of in utero oxy (IUO) exposure on neurodevelopment, a significant gap in knowledge is the [...] Read more.
Oxycodone (oxy) is a semi-synthetic opioid commonly used as a pain medication that is also a widely abused prescription drug. While very limited studies have examined the effect of in utero oxy (IUO) exposure on neurodevelopment, a significant gap in knowledge is the effect of IUO compared with postnatal oxy (PNO) exposure on synaptogenesis—a key process in the formation of synapses during brain development—in the exposed offspring. One relatively unexplored form of cell–cell communication associated with brain development in response to IUO and PNO exposure are extracellular vesicles (EVs). EVs are membrane-bound vesicles that serve as carriers of cargo, such as microRNAs (miRNAs). Using RNA-Seq analysis, we identified distinct brain-derived extracellular vesicle (BDEs) miRNA signatures associated with IUO and PNO exposure, including their gene targets, regulating key functional pathways associated with brain development to be more impacted in the IUO offspring. Further treatment of primary 14-day in vitro (DIV) neurons with IUO BDEs caused a significant reduction in spine density compared to treatment with BDEs from PNO and saline groups. In summary, our studies identified for the first time, key BDE miRNA signatures in IUO- and PNO-exposed offspring, which could impact their brain development as well as synaptic function. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Heart Failure with Reduced Ejection Fraction (HFrEF) and Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF): The Diagnostic Value of Circulating MicroRNAs
Cells 2019, 8(12), 1651; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8121651 - 16 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Circulating microRNAs offer attractive potential as epigenetic disease biomarkers by virtue of their biological stability and ready accessibility in liquid biopsies. Numerous clinical cohort studies have revealed unique microRNA profiles in different disease settings, suggesting utility as markers with diagnostic and prognostic applications. [...] Read more.
Circulating microRNAs offer attractive potential as epigenetic disease biomarkers by virtue of their biological stability and ready accessibility in liquid biopsies. Numerous clinical cohort studies have revealed unique microRNA profiles in different disease settings, suggesting utility as markers with diagnostic and prognostic applications. Given the complex network of microRNA functions in modulating gene expression and post-transcriptional modifications, the circulating microRNA landscape in disease may reflect pathophysiological status, providing valuable information for delineating distinct subtypes and/or stages of complex diseases. Heart failure (HF) is an increasingly significant global health challenge, imposing major economic liability and health care burden due to high hospitalization, morbidity, and mortality rates. Although HF is defined as a syndrome characterized by symptoms and findings on physical examination, it may be further differentiated based on left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and categorized as HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). The presenting clinical syndromes in HFpEF and HFrEF are similar but mortality differs, being somewhat lower in HFpEF than in HFrEF. However, while HFrEF is responsive to an array of therapies, none has been shown to improve survival in HFpEF. Herein, we review recent HF cohort studies focusing on the distinct microRNA profiles associated with HF subtypes to reveal new insights to underlying mechanisms and explore the possibility of exploiting these differences for diagnostic/prognostic applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Omics Integration Reveals Short and Long-Term Effects of Gestational Hypoxia on the Heart Development
Cells 2019, 8(12), 1608; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8121608 - 11 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Antenatal hypoxia caused epigenetic reprogramming of methylome and transcriptome in the developing heart and increased the risk of heart disease later in life. Herein, we investigated the impact of gestational hypoxia in proteome and metabolome in the hearts of fetus and adult offspring. [...] Read more.
Antenatal hypoxia caused epigenetic reprogramming of methylome and transcriptome in the developing heart and increased the risk of heart disease later in life. Herein, we investigated the impact of gestational hypoxia in proteome and metabolome in the hearts of fetus and adult offspring. Pregnant rats were treated with normoxia or hypoxia (10.5% O2) from day 15 to 21 of gestation. Hearts were isolated from near-term fetuses and 5 month-old offspring, and proteomics and metabolomics profiling was determined. The data demonstrated that antenatal hypoxia altered proteomics and metabolomics profiling in the heart, impacting energy metabolism, lipid metabolism, oxidative stress, and inflammation-related pathways in a developmental and sex dependent manner. Of importance, integrating multi-omics data of transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics profiling revealed reprogramming of the mitochondrion, especially in two clusters: (a) the cluster associated with “mitochondrial translation”/“aminoacyl t-RNA biosynthesis”/“one-carbon pool of folate”/“DNA methylation”; and (b) the cluster with “mitochondrion”/“TCA cycle and respiratory electron transfer”/“acyl-CoA dehydrogenase”/“oxidative phosphorylation”/“complex I”/“troponin myosin cardiac complex”. Our study provides a powerful means of multi-omics data integration and reveals new insights into phenotypic reprogramming of the mitochondrion in the developing heart by fetal hypoxia, contributing to an increase in the heart vulnerability to disease later in life. Full article
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Open AccessReview
From Endogenous to Synthetic microRNA-Mediated Regulatory Circuits: An Overview
Cells 2019, 8(12), 1540; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8121540 - 29 Nov 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
MicroRNAs are short non-coding RNAs that are evolutionarily conserved and are pivotal post-transcriptional mediators of gene regulation. Together with transcription factors and epigenetic regulators, they form a highly interconnected network whose building blocks can be classified depending on the number of molecular species [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs are short non-coding RNAs that are evolutionarily conserved and are pivotal post-transcriptional mediators of gene regulation. Together with transcription factors and epigenetic regulators, they form a highly interconnected network whose building blocks can be classified depending on the number of molecular species involved and the type of interactions amongst them. Depending on their topology, these molecular circuits may carry out specific functions that years of studies have related to the processing of gene expression noise. In this review, we first present the different over-represented network motifs involving microRNAs and their specific role in implementing relevant biological functions, reviewing both theoretical and experimental studies. We then illustrate the recent advances in synthetic biology, such as the construction of artificially synthesised circuits, which provide a controlled tool to test experimentally the possible microRNA regulatory tasks and constitute a starting point for clinical applications. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Regulatory Role of MicroRNA in Hepatitis-B Virus-Associated Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HBV-HCC) Pathogenesis
Cells 2019, 8(12), 1504; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8121504 - 24 Nov 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
The incidence and mortality of hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HBV-HCC) is an intractable public health problem in developing countries that is compounded by limited early detection and therapeutic options. Despite the early promise of utilizing the regulatory role of miRNA in [...] Read more.
The incidence and mortality of hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HBV-HCC) is an intractable public health problem in developing countries that is compounded by limited early detection and therapeutic options. Despite the early promise of utilizing the regulatory role of miRNA in liver cancer, this field remains largely in the work-in-progress phase. This exploratory review paper adopts a broad focus in order to collate evidence of the regulatory role of miRNA in each stage of the HBV-HCC continuum. This includes the regulatory role of miRNA in early HBV infection, chronic inflammation, fibrosis/cirrhosis, and the onset of HCC. The paper specifically investigates HBV dysregulated miRNA that influence the expression of the host/HBV genome in HBV-HCC pathogenesis and fully acknowledges that this does not cover the full spectrum of dysregulated miRNA. The sheer number of dysregulated miRNA in each phase support a hypothesis that future therapeutic interventions will need to consider incorporating multiple miRNA panels. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mitochondrial MiRNA in Cardiovascular Function and Disease
Cells 2019, 8(12), 1475; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8121475 - 21 Nov 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs functioning as crucial post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression involved in cardiovascular development and health. Recently, mitochondrial miRNAs (mitomiRs) have been shown to modulate the translational activity of the mitochondrial genome and regulating mitochondrial protein expression and function. [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs functioning as crucial post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression involved in cardiovascular development and health. Recently, mitochondrial miRNAs (mitomiRs) have been shown to modulate the translational activity of the mitochondrial genome and regulating mitochondrial protein expression and function. Although mitochondria have been verified to be essential for the development and as a therapeutic target for cardiovascular diseases, we are just beginning to understand the roles of mitomiRs in the regulation of crucial biological processes, including energy metabolism, oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis. In this review, we summarize recent findings regarding how mitomiRs impact on mitochondrial gene expression and mitochondrial function, which may help us better understand the contribution of mitomiRs to both the regulation of cardiovascular function under physiological conditions and the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
The Non-Canonical Aspects of MicroRNAs: Many Roads to Gene Regulation
Cells 2019, 8(11), 1465; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8111465 - 19 Nov 2019
Cited by 26
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are critical regulators of gene expression. As miRNAs are frequently deregulated in many human diseases, including cancer and immunological disorders, it is important to understand their biological functions. Typically, miRNA-encoding genes are transcribed by RNA Polymerase II and generate primary transcripts [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are critical regulators of gene expression. As miRNAs are frequently deregulated in many human diseases, including cancer and immunological disorders, it is important to understand their biological functions. Typically, miRNA-encoding genes are transcribed by RNA Polymerase II and generate primary transcripts that are processed by RNase III-endonucleases DROSHA and DICER into small RNAs of approximately 21 nucleotides. All miRNAs are loaded into Argonaute proteins in the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) and act as post-transcriptional regulators by binding to the 3′- untranslated region (UTR) of mRNAs. This seed-dependent miRNA binding inhibits the translation and/or promotes the degradation of mRNA targets. Surprisingly, recent data presents evidence for a target-mediated decay mechanism that controls the level of specific miRNAs. In addition, several non-canonical miRNA-containing genes have been recently described and unexpected functions of miRNAs have been identified. For instance, several miRNAs are located in the nucleus, where they are involved in the transcriptional activation or silencing of target genes. These epigenetic modifiers are recruited by RISC and guided by miRNAs to specific loci in the genome. Here, we will review non-canonical aspects of miRNA biology, including novel regulators of miRNA expression and functions of miRNAs in the nucleus. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Germinal Centre B Cell Functions and Lymphomagenesis: Circuits Involving MYC and MicroRNAs
Cells 2019, 8(11), 1365; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8111365 - 31 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Background: The transcription factor MYC regulates several biological cellular processes, and its target gene network comprises approximately 15% of all human genes, including microRNAs (miRNAs), that also contribute to MYC regulatory activity. Although miRNAs are emerging as key regulators of immune functions, the [...] Read more.
Background: The transcription factor MYC regulates several biological cellular processes, and its target gene network comprises approximately 15% of all human genes, including microRNAs (miRNAs), that also contribute to MYC regulatory activity. Although miRNAs are emerging as key regulators of immune functions, the specific roles of miRNAs in the regulation/dysregulation of germinal centre B-cells and B-cell lymphomas are still being uncovered. The regulatory network that integrates MYC, target genes and miRNAs is a field of intense study, highlighting potential pathways to be explored in the context of future clinical approaches. Methods: The scientific literature that is indexed in PUBMED was consulted for publications involving MYC and miRNAs with validated bioinformatics analyses or experimental protocols. Additionally, seminal studies on germinal centre B-cell functions and lymphomagenesis were reported. Conclusions: This review summarizes the interactions between MYC and miRNAs through regulatory loops and circuits involving target genes in germinal centre B-cell lymphomas with MYC alterations. Moreover, we provide an overview of the understanding of the regulatory networks between MYC and miRNAs, highlighting the potential implication of this approach for the comprehension of germinal centre B-cell lymphoma pathogenesis. Therefore, circuits involving MYC, target genes and miRNAs provide novel insight into lymphomagenesis that could be useful for new improved therapeutic strategies. Full article
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Open AccessReview
MicroRNAs in Uteroplacental Vascular Dysfunction
Cells 2019, 8(11), 1344; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8111344 - 29 Oct 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Pregnancy complications of preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) are major causes of maternal and perinatal/neonatal morbidity and mortality. Although their etiologies remain elusive, it is generally accepted that they are secondary to placental insufficiency conferred by both failure in spiral artery remodeling [...] Read more.
Pregnancy complications of preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) are major causes of maternal and perinatal/neonatal morbidity and mortality. Although their etiologies remain elusive, it is generally accepted that they are secondary to placental insufficiency conferred by both failure in spiral artery remodeling and uteroplacental vascular malfunction. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small no-coding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Increasing evidence suggests that miRNAs participate in virtually all biological processes and are involved in numerous human diseases. Differentially expressed miRNAs in the placenta are typical features of both preeclampsia and IUGR. Dysregulated miRNAs target genes of various signaling pathways in uteroplacental tissues, contributing to the development of both complications. In this review, we provide an overview of how aberrant miRNA expression in preeclampsia and IUGR impacts the expression of genes involved in trophoblast invasion and uteroplacental vascular adaptation. Full article
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Open AccessReview
MicroRNAs as a Potential Quality Measurement Tool of Platelet Concentrate Stored in Blood Banks—A Review
Cells 2019, 8(10), 1256; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8101256 - 15 Oct 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Background: Platelet concentrate (PC) is one of the main products used in a therapeutic transfusion. This blood component requires special storage at blood banks, however, even under good storage conditions, modifications or degradations may occur and are known as platelet storage lesions. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Platelet concentrate (PC) is one of the main products used in a therapeutic transfusion. This blood component requires special storage at blood banks, however, even under good storage conditions, modifications or degradations may occur and are known as platelet storage lesions. Methods: This research was performed on scientific citation databases PubMed/Medline, ScienceDirect, and Web of Science, for publications containing platelet storage lesions. The results obtained mainly reveal the clinical applicability of miRNAs as biomarkers of storage injury and as useful tools for a problem affecting public and private health, the lack of PC bags in countries with few blood donors. The major studies listed in this review identified miRNAs associated with important platelet functions that are relevant in clinical practice as quality biomarkers of PC, such as miR-223, miR-126, miR-10a, miR-150, miR-16, miR-21, miR-326, miR-495, let-7b, let-7c, let-7e, miR-107, miR-10b, miR-145, miR-155, miR-17, miR-191, miR-197, miR-200b, miR-24, miR-331, miR-376. These miRNAs can be used in blood banks to identify platelet injury in PC bags. Conclusion: The studies described in this review relate the functions of miRNAs with molecular mechanisms that result in functional platelet differences, such as apoptosis. Thus, miRNA profiles can be used to measure the quality of storage PC for more than 5 days, identify bags with platelet injury, and distinguish those with functional platelets. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The MicroRNA Centrism in the Orchestration of Neuroinflammation in Neurodegenerative Diseases
Cells 2019, 8(10), 1193; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8101193 - 02 Oct 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs with a unique ability to regulate the transcriptomic profile by binding to complementary regulatory RNA sequences. The ability of miRNAs to enhance (proinflammatory miRNAs) or restrict (anti-inflammatory miRNAs) inflammatory signalling within the central nervous system is an [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs with a unique ability to regulate the transcriptomic profile by binding to complementary regulatory RNA sequences. The ability of miRNAs to enhance (proinflammatory miRNAs) or restrict (anti-inflammatory miRNAs) inflammatory signalling within the central nervous system is an area of ongoing research, particularly in the context of disorders that feature neuroinflammation, including neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs). Furthermore, the discovery of competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) has led to an increase in the complexity of miRNA-mediated gene regulation, with a paradigm shift from a unidirectional to a bidirectional regulation, where miRNA acts as both a regulator and is regulated by ceRNAs. Increasing evidence has revealed that ceRNAs, including long non-coding RNAs, circular RNAs, and pseudogenes, can act as miRNA sponges to regulate neuroinflammation in NDDs within complex cross-talk regulatory machinery, which is referred to as ceRNA network (ceRNET). In this review, we discuss the role of miRNAs in neuroinflammatory regulation and the manner in which cellular and vesicular ceRNETs could influence neuroinflammatory dynamics in complex multifactorial diseases, such as NDDs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Modus Operandi of MicroRNA Regulatory Clusters
Cells 2019, 8(9), 1103; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8091103 - 18 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNAs that regulate a wide range of biological pathways by post-transcriptionally modulating gene expression levels. Given that even a single miRNA may simultaneously control several genes enrolled in multiple biological functions, one would expect that these tiny RNAs have [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNAs that regulate a wide range of biological pathways by post-transcriptionally modulating gene expression levels. Given that even a single miRNA may simultaneously control several genes enrolled in multiple biological functions, one would expect that these tiny RNAs have the ability to properly sort among distinctive cellular processes to drive protein production. To test this hypothesis, we scrutinized previously published microarray datasets and clustered protein-coding gene expression profiles according to the intensity of fold-change levels caused by the exogenous transfection of 10 miRNAs (miR-1, miR-7, miR-9, miR-124, miR-128a, miR-132, miR-133a, miR-142, miR-148b, miR-181a) in a human cell line. Through an in silico functional enrichment analysis, we discovered non-randomic regulatory patterns, proper of each cluster identified. We demonstrated that miRNAs are capable of equivalently modulate the expression signatures of target genes in regulatory clusters according to the biological function they are assigned to. Moreover, target prediction analysis applied to ten vertebrate species, suggest that such miRNA regulatory modus operandi is evolutionarily conserved within vertebrates. Overall, we discovered a complex regulatory cluster-module strategy driven by miRNAs, which relies on the controlled intensity of the repression over distinct targets under specific biological contexts. Our discovery helps to clarify the mechanisms underlying the functional activity of miRNAs and makes it easier to take the fastest and most accurate path in the search for the functions of miRNAs in any distinct biological process of interest. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
miR-263b Controls Circadian Behavior and the Structural Plasticity of Pacemaker Neurons by Regulating the LIM-Only Protein Beadex
Cells 2019, 8(8), 923; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8080923 - 18 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Circadian clocks drive rhythmic physiology and behavior to allow adaption to daily environmental changes. In Drosophila, the small ventral lateral neurons (sLNvs) are primary pacemakers that control circadian rhythms. Circadian changes are observed in the dorsal axonal projections of the sLNvs, but [...] Read more.
Circadian clocks drive rhythmic physiology and behavior to allow adaption to daily environmental changes. In Drosophila, the small ventral lateral neurons (sLNvs) are primary pacemakers that control circadian rhythms. Circadian changes are observed in the dorsal axonal projections of the sLNvs, but their physiological importance and the underlying mechanism are unclear. Here, we identified miR-263b as an important regulator of circadian rhythms and structural plasticity of sLNvs in Drosophila. Depletion of miR-263b (miR-263bKO) in flies dramatically impaired locomotor rhythms under constant darkness. Indeed, miR-263b is required for the structural plasticity of sLNvs. miR-263b regulates circadian rhythms through inhibition of expression of the LIM-only protein Beadex (Bx). Consistently, overexpression of Bx or loss-of-function mutation (BxhdpR26) phenocopied miR-263bKO and miR-263b overexpression in behavior and molecular characteristics. In addition, mutating the miR-263b binding sites in the Bx 3′ UTR using CRISPR/Cas9 recapitulated the circadian phenotypes of miR-263bKO flies. Together, these results establish miR-263b as an important regulator of circadian locomotor behavior and structural plasticity. Full article
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Open AccessReview
MicroRNAs in Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders
Cells 2019, 8(8), 859; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8080859 - 09 Aug 2019
Cited by 22
Abstract
Metabolic disorders are characterized by the inability to properly use and/or store energy. The burdens of metabolic disease, such as obesity or diabetes, are believed to arise through a complex interplay between genetics and epigenetics predisposition, environment and nutrition. Therefore, understanding the molecular [...] Read more.
Metabolic disorders are characterized by the inability to properly use and/or store energy. The burdens of metabolic disease, such as obesity or diabetes, are believed to arise through a complex interplay between genetics and epigenetics predisposition, environment and nutrition. Therefore, understanding the molecular mechanisms for the onset of metabolic disease will provide new insights for prevention and treatment. There is growing concern about the dysregulation of micro-RNAs (miRNAs) in metabolic diseases. MiRNAs are short non-coding RNA molecules that post-transcriptionally repress the expression of genes by binding to untranslated regions and coding sequences of the target mRNAs. This review aims to provide recent data about the potential involvement of miRNAs in metabolic diseases, particularly obesity and type 2 diabetes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
MiR-200-3p Is Potentially Involved in Cell Cycle Arrest by Regulating Cyclin A during Aestivation in Apostichopus japonicus
Cells 2019, 8(8), 843; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8080843 - 06 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus) has become a good model organism for studying environmentally induced aestivation in marine invertebrates. We hypothesized that mechanisms that arrest energy-expensive cell cycle activity would contribute significantly to establishing the hypometabolic state during aestivation. Cyclin A [...] Read more.
The sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus) has become a good model organism for studying environmentally induced aestivation in marine invertebrates. We hypothesized that mechanisms that arrest energy-expensive cell cycle activity would contribute significantly to establishing the hypometabolic state during aestivation. Cyclin A is a core and particularly interesting cell cycle regulator that functions in both the S phase and in mitosis. In the present study, negative relationships between miR-200-3p and AjCA expressions were detected at both the transcriptional and the translational levels during aestivation in A. japonicus. Dual-luciferase reporter assays confirmed the targeted location of the miR-200-3p binding site within the AjCA gene transcript. Furthermore, gain- and loss-of-function experiments were conducted in vivo with sea cucumbers to verify the interaction between miR-200-3p and AjCA in intestine tissue by qRT-PCR and Western blotting. The results show that the overexpression of miR-200-3p mimics suppressed AjCA transcript levels and translated protein production, whereas transfection with a miR-200-3p inhibitor enhanced both AjCA mRNA and AjCA protein in A. japonicus intestine. Our findings suggested a potential mechanism that reversibly arrests cell cycle progression during aestivation, which may center on miR-200-3p inhibitory control over the translation of cyclin A mRNA transcripts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Differential Inhibition of Target Gene Expression by Human microRNAs
Cells 2019, 8(8), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8080791 - 30 Jul 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
microRNAs (miRNAs) exert their functions by repressing the expression of their target genes, but most miRNA target genes are unknown, and the degree to which a miRNA differentially inhibits the expression of its targets is underappreciated. We selected human miR-1, miR-122, and miR-124 [...] Read more.
microRNAs (miRNAs) exert their functions by repressing the expression of their target genes, but most miRNA target genes are unknown, and the degree to which a miRNA differentially inhibits the expression of its targets is underappreciated. We selected human miR-1, miR-122, and miR-124 as representatives to investigate the reliability of miRNA target predictions and examine how miRNAs suppress their targets. We constructed miRNA target gene reporter libraries based on prediction programs TargetScan, miRanda, and PicTar, and performed large-scale reporter assays to directly evaluate whether and how strongly a predicted target gene is repressed by its miRNA. We then performed statistical analyses to examine parameters that contributed to the miRNA inhibition of target genes. We found that the three programs have approximately 72–85% success rates in predicting genuine targets and that the miRNA inhibition of different targets varies in extent. We also identified parameters that could predict the degrees of miRNA repression, and further showed that differential miR-124 repression might contribute to differential gene expression in vivo. Our studies systematically investigated hundreds of miRNA target genes, shed light on factors influencing miRNA functions, and suggested a new mechanism by which differential target repression by miRNAs regulates endogenous gene expression. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Physical Exercise Modulates miR-21-5p, miR-129-5p, miR-378-5p, and miR-188-5p Expression in Progenitor Cells Promoting Osteogenesis
Cells 2019, 8(7), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8070742 - 19 Jul 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
Physical exercise is known to promote beneficial effects on overall health, counteracting risks related to degenerative diseases. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), short non-coding RNAs affecting the expression of a cell’s transcriptome, can be modulated by different stimuli. Yet, the molecular effects on osteogenic differentiation triggered [...] Read more.
Physical exercise is known to promote beneficial effects on overall health, counteracting risks related to degenerative diseases. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), short non-coding RNAs affecting the expression of a cell’s transcriptome, can be modulated by different stimuli. Yet, the molecular effects on osteogenic differentiation triggered by miRNAs upon physical exercise are not completely understood. In this study, we recruited 20 male amateur runners participating in a half marathon. Runners’ sera, collected before (PRE RUN) and after (POST RUN) the run, were added to cultured human mesenchymal stromal cells. We then investigated their effects on the modulation of selected miRNAs and the consequential effects on osteogenic differentiation. Our results showed an increased expression of miRNAs promoting osteogenic differentiation (miR-21-5p, miR-129-5p, and miR-378-5p) and a reduced expression of miRNAs involved in the adipogenic differentiation of progenitor cells (miR-188-5p). In addition, we observed the downregulation of PTEN and SMAD7 expression along with increased AKT/pAKT and SMAD4 protein levels in MSCs treated with POST RUN sera. The consequent upregulation of RUNX2 expression was also proven, highlighting the molecular mechanisms by which miR-21-5p promotes osteogenic differentiation. In conclusion, our work proposes novel data, which demonstrate how miRNAs may regulate the osteogenic commitment of progenitor cells in response to physical exercise. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identifying microRNAs and Their Editing Sites in Macaca mulatta
Cells 2019, 8(7), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8070682 - 05 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that are critical in post-transcriptional regulation. Macaca mulatta is an important nonhuman primate that is often used in basic and translational researches. However, the annotation of miRNAs in Macaca mulatta is far from complete, and there are [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that are critical in post-transcriptional regulation. Macaca mulatta is an important nonhuman primate that is often used in basic and translational researches. However, the annotation of miRNAs in Macaca mulatta is far from complete, and there are no reports of miRNA editing events in Macaca mulatta, although editing may affect the biogenesis or functions of the miRNAs. To improve miRNA annotation and to reveal editing events of miRNAs in Macaca mulatta, we generated 12 small RNA profiles from eight tissues and performed comprehensive analysis of these profiles. We identified 479 conserved pre-miRNAs that have not been reported in Macaca mulatta and 17 species specific miRNAs. Furthermore, we identified 3386 editing sites with significant editing levels from 471 pre-miRNAs after analyzing the 12 self-generated and 58 additional published sRNA-seq profiles from 17 different types of organs or tissues. In addition to 16 conserved A-to-I editing sites, we identified five conserved C-to-U editing sites in miRNAs of Macaca mulatta and Homo sapiens. We also identified 11 SNPs in the miRNAs of Macaca mulatta. The analysis of the potential targets of 69 miRNAs with editing or mutation events in their seed regions suggest that these editing or mutation events severely changed their targets and their potential functions. These results significantly increase our understanding of miRNAs and their mutation/editing events in Macaca mulatta. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Inhibition on MDFIC and PI3K/AKT Pathway Caused by miR-146b-3p Triggers Suppression of Myoblast Proliferation and Differentiation and Promotion of Apoptosis
Cells 2019, 8(7), 656; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8070656 - 29 Jun 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Accumulating studies report that microRNAs (miRNAs) are actively involved in skeletal myogenesis. Previously, our study revealed that miR-146b-3p was related to the growth of skeletal muscle. Here, we further report that miR-146b-3p is essential for the proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis of chicken myoblast. [...] Read more.
Accumulating studies report that microRNAs (miRNAs) are actively involved in skeletal myogenesis. Previously, our study revealed that miR-146b-3p was related to the growth of skeletal muscle. Here, we further report that miR-146b-3p is essential for the proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis of chicken myoblast. Elevated expression of miR-146b-3p can dramatically suppress proliferation and differentiation, and facilitate apoptosis of chicken myoblast. Besides, we identified two target genes of miR-146b-3p, AKT1 and MDFIC, and found that miR-146b-3p can inhibit the PI3K/AKT pathway. Our study also showed that both AKT1 and MDFIC can promote the proliferation and differentiation while inhibit the apoptosis of myoblast in chicken. Overall, our results demonstrate that miR-146b-3p, directly suppressing PI3K/AKT pathway and MDFIC, acts in the proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis of myoblast in chicken. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
miR-26a-5p is a Stable Reference Gene for miRNA Studies in Chondrocytes from Developing Human Cartilage
Cells 2019, 8(6), 631; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8060631 - 22 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
miRNAs are emerging as key regulators of complex biological systems in several developmental processes. qRT-PCR is a powerful tool to quantitatively assess the profiles and modulation of miRNA expression. In the emerging field of cartilage maturation studies, from precursor to hypertrophic chondrocytes, few [...] Read more.
miRNAs are emerging as key regulators of complex biological systems in several developmental processes. qRT-PCR is a powerful tool to quantitatively assess the profiles and modulation of miRNA expression. In the emerging field of cartilage maturation studies, from precursor to hypertrophic chondrocytes, few data about miRNA regulation are available, and no consensus on the best reference gene (RG) has been reached. This is a crucial pitfall since reliable outcomes depend on proper data normalization. The aim of this work was to identify reliable and stable miRNA RGs, basing the analysis on available high throughput qRT-PCR miRNA data (from the NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus database, GSE49152) obtained from human embryonic cartilage tissues enriched in the precursor, differentiated, and hypertrophic chondrocytes. Four normalization approaches were used, and the stability was quantified by combining BestKeeper, delta-Ct, geNorm, and NormFinder statistical tools. An integrated approach allowed to identify miR-26a-5p as the most stable RG and miR-212-3p as the worst one. RNU44, used in original dataset analysis, performed as second best RG. Applications of different normalization strategies significantly impacted the profiles and modulation of miRNA expression. Herein presented results point out the crucial need of a consensus on data normalization studies aimed at dissecting miRNA role in human cartilage development, to avoid the postulation of unreliable biological conclusions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
MiR-34b-5p Mediates the Proliferation and Differentiation of Myoblasts by Targeting IGFBP2
Cells 2019, 8(4), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8040360 - 17 Apr 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
As key post-transcriptional regulators, microRNAs (miRNAs) play an indispensable role in skeletal muscle development. Our previous study suggested that miR-34b-5p and IGFBP2 could have a potential role in skeletal muscle growth. Our goal in this study is to explore the function and regulatory [...] Read more.
As key post-transcriptional regulators, microRNAs (miRNAs) play an indispensable role in skeletal muscle development. Our previous study suggested that miR-34b-5p and IGFBP2 could have a potential role in skeletal muscle growth. Our goal in this study is to explore the function and regulatory mechanism of miR-34b-5p and IGFBP2 in myogenesis. In this study, the dual-luciferase reporter assay and Western blot analysis showed that IGFBP2 is a direct target of miR-34b-5p. Flow cytometric analysis and EdU assay showed that miR-34b-5p could repress the cell cycle progression of myoblasts, and miR-34b-5p could promote the formation of myotubes by promoting the expression of MyHC. On the contrary, the overexpression of IGFBP2 significantly facilitated the proliferation of myoblasts and hampered the formation of myotubes. Together, our results indicate that miR-34b-5p could mediate the proliferation and differentiation of myoblasts by targeting IGFBP2. Full article
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Open AccessReview
MicroRNAs as Potential Pharmaco-Targets in Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury Compounded by Diabetes
Cells 2019, 8(2), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8020152 - 12 Feb 2019
Cited by 10
Abstract
Background: Ischemia-Reperfusion (I/R) injury is the tissue damage that results from re-oxygenation of ischemic tissues. There are many players that contribute to I/R injury. One of these factors is the family of microRNAs (miRNAs), which are currently being heavily studied. This review aims [...] Read more.
Background: Ischemia-Reperfusion (I/R) injury is the tissue damage that results from re-oxygenation of ischemic tissues. There are many players that contribute to I/R injury. One of these factors is the family of microRNAs (miRNAs), which are currently being heavily studied. This review aims to critically summarize the latest papers that attributed roles of certain miRNAs in I/R injury, particularly in diabetic conditions and dissect their potential as novel pharmacologic targets in the treatment and management of diabetes. Methods: PubMed was searched for publications containing microRNA and I/R, in the absence or presence of diabetes. All papers that provided sufficient evidence linking miRNA with I/R, especially in the context of diabetes, were selected. Several miRNAs are found to be either pro-apoptotic, as in the case of miR-34a, miR-144, miR-155, and miR-200, or anti-apoptotic, as in the case of miR-210, miR-21, and miR-146a. Here, we further dissect the evidence that shows diverse cell-context dependent effects of these miRNAs, particularly in cardiomyocytes, endothelial, or leukocytes. We also provide insight into cases where the possibility of having two miRNAs working together to intensify a given response is noted. Conclusions: This review arrives at the conclusion that the utilization of miRNAs as translational agents or pharmaco-targets in treating I/R injury in diabetic patients is promising and becoming increasingly clearer. Full article
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