Micromanagement of the immune system by microRNAs

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nine Cambridge Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.
Nature Reviews Immunology (Impact Factor: 34.99). 03/2008; 8(2):120-30. DOI: 10.1038/nri2252
Source: PubMed


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are an abundant class of evolutionarily conserved small non-coding RNAs that are thought to control gene expression by targeting mRNAs for degradation or translational repression. Emerging evidence suggests that miRNA-mediated gene regulation represents a fundamental layer of genetic programmes at the post-transcriptional level and has diverse functional roles in animals. Here, we provide an overview of the mechanisms by which miRNAs regulate gene expression, with specific focus on the role of miRNAs in regulating the development of immune cells and in modulating innate and adaptive immune responses.


Available from: Beiyan Zhou
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    PLoS Genetics 09/2014; 10(9):e1004602. DOI:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004602 · 7.53 Impact Factor
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    • "Aire gene expression does not change during this phase life, and the downregulation of Aire-dependent PTAs was unexplained. However, this finding motivated us to hypothesize that miRNAs might be controlling gene expression in an autoimmune mouse strain because these molecules play an important role as general post-transcriptional negative controllers (Lodish et al. 2008; Dai and Ahmed 2011; Baumjohann and Ansel 2013). Previous observations have indicated the involvement of miRNAs in the organization of architecture and cellularity of the thymus (Zuklys et al. 2012; Ucar et al. 2013; Khan et al. 2014). "
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    • "MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous, 22–25 nucleotide RNAs that play major regulatory roles in higher eukaryotes by targeting mRNAs for cleavage or translational repression. MiRNAs modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses to pathogens by affecting host immune cell differentiation and progression of diseases [7]. The clinical application of miRNAs as diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers has already been demonstrated in various types of cancers [8]. "
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