Special Issue "MicroRNAs: Novel Biomarkers for Liver Diseases"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2015)
Prof. Dr. Rajagopal N. Aravalli
Department of Radiology, University of Minnesota Medical School, MMC 292 Mayo Memorial Building, 420 Delaware Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
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Phone: (+1) 612 626 8174
Fax: +1 612 626 5580
Interests: hepatocellular carcinoma; alcoholic liver disease; non-alcoholic steatohepatitis; stem cells and animal models for human liver diseases
During the past decade, it has become clear that microRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in various liver diseases. MiRNAs are small (~21–23 nucleotides long), non-coding RNAs that regulate post-transcriptional gene expression of their target genes either by inducing translational repression via their binding to partially complementary sequences or by directing mRNA degradation through their binding to perfectly complementary sequences in the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Each mature miRNA potentially controls many gene targets, and each mRNA is regulated by multiple miRNAs. To date, more than 17,000 distinct mature miRNA sequences have been identified from over 140 species. Because of their functionality in diverse cellular events, miRNA are widely studied in human diseases, as evident from hundreds of clinical trials that are currently underway. Moreover, there is a surge in the filing of patent applications worldwide on the use of miRNAs as therapeutics. Most liver diseases are multifactorial, and, therefore, the expression of a large number of genes, proteins and other molecules from diverse cellular processes and pathways are altered in them. Hence, the use of a combination therapy that targets multiple different steps and pathways, rather than a single test or a set of tests, might be an appropriate strategy to combat liver diseases. MiRNAs are uniquely suited for this purpose as they are capable of targeting many mRNAs simultaneously. In fact, a single miRNA, miR-26a, was recently shown to significantly reduce hepatocellular carcinoma without any toxicity, demonstrating the success of this multi-pronged approach. The articles in this Special Issue of the Journal of Clinical Medicine will provide up-to-date information on the roles of miRNAs in various liver diseases, and on the development of miRNA therapeutics to combat these diseases.
Prof. Dr. Rajagopal N. Aravalli
Manuscript Submission Information
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- liver disease
- hepatocellular carcinoma
- alcoholic liver disease
- non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
- primary biliary cirrhosis