The Role of MicroRNAs in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a serious neurodegenerative disease that affects motor neurons and leads to death within 2 to 3 years after the first symptoms manifest. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression in fundamental cellular processes and, post-transcriptionally, the translation levels of target mRNA transcripts. We searched PubMed for studies that examined miRNAs in ALS patients and attempted to group the results in order to find the strongest miRNA candidate for servings as an ALS biomarker. The studies on humans so far have been diverse, yielding considerably heterogeneous results, as they were performed on a wide variety of tissues and subjects. Among the miRNAs that were found consistently deregulated are miR-206, miR-133, miR-149, and miR-338-3p. Additively, the deregulation of some specific miRNAs seems to compose a miRNA expression profile that is specific for ALS. More research is required in order for the scientific community to reach a consensus.
KeywordsAmyotrophic lateral sclerosis MicroRNA Epigenetics Biomarker Neurodegeneration
MA was supported by grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIEHS R01ES07331, NIEHS R01ES10563, and NIEHS R01ES020852.
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