MicroRNAs: key components of immune regulation.

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Advances in experimental medicine and biology (Impact Factor: 1.83). 01/2012; 780:15-26. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-5632-3_2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The regulation of gene expression at the posttranscriptional level has revealed important control levels for genes important to the immune system. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNAs that regulate gene expression by inhibiting protein translation or by degrading the mRNA transcript. A single miRNA can potentially regulate the expression of multiple genes and the proteins encoded. MiRNA can influence molecular signaling pathways and regulate many biological processes including immune function. Although the role of miRNAs in development and oncogenesis has been well characterized, their role in the immune system has only begun to emerge. During the past few years, many miRNAs have been found to be important in the development, differentiation, survival, and function of B and T lymphocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages, and other immune cell types. We discuss here recent findings revealing important roles for miRNA in immunity and how miRNAs can regulate innate and adaptive immune responses.

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May 29, 2014