MicroRNAs in Allergy and Asthma
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microRNAs (miRNAs) are short, single-stranded RNA molecules that function together with the partner proteins and cause degradation of target mRNAs or inhibit their translation. A particular miRNA can have hundreds of targets; therefore, miRNAs cumulatively influence the expression of a large proportion of genes. The functions of miRNAs in human diseases have been studied since their discovery in mammalian cells approximately 12 years ago. However, the role of miRNAs in allergic disease has only very recently begun to be uncovered. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the functions of miRNAs involved in the development of allergic diseases. We describe here the functions of miRNAs that regulate Th2 polarization and influence general inflammatory and tissue responses. In addition, we will highlight findings about the functions of extracellular miRNAs as possible noninvasive biomarkers of diseases with heterogeneous phenotypes and complex mechanisms and briefly discuss advances in the development of miRNA-based therapeutics.
KeywordsAllergy Asthma Atopic Non-coding RNA T cells Dendritic cells Epithelial cells microRNA Extracellular miRNA
This work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation grant 32-112306, the Christine Kühne-Center for Allergy Research and Education, Davos Switzerland (CK-CARE), Swiss-Polish contribution, European Regional Fund with Archimedes Foundation, EU structural assistance grant SARMP12219T and personal research grant PUT214 from the Estonian Research Council.
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Conflict of Interest
Ana Rebane and Cezmi A. Akdis declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
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