Journal of Molecular Neuroscience

, Volume 66, Issue 4, pp 617–628 | Cite as

The Role of MicroRNAs in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

  • Efthimios Dardiotis
  • Athina-Maria Aloizou
  • Vasileios Siokas
  • George P. Patrinos
  • Georgia Deretzi
  • Panayiotis Mitsias
  • Michael Aschner
  • Aristidis Tsatsakis


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.


Amyotrophic 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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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Efthimios Dardiotis
    • 1
  • Athina-Maria Aloizou
    • 1
  • Vasileios Siokas
    • 1
  • George P. Patrinos
    • 2
    • 3
  • Georgia Deretzi
    • 4
  • Panayiotis Mitsias
    • 5
  • Michael Aschner
    • 6
  • Aristidis Tsatsakis
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Laboratory of Neurogenetics, University Hospital of LarissaUniversity of ThessalyLarissaGreece
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacy, Laboratory of Pharmacogenomics and Individualized TherapyUniversity of Patras School of Health SciencesPatrasGreece
  3. 3.College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of PathologyUnited Arab Emirates UniversityAl-AinUnited Arab Emirates
  4. 4.Department of NeurologyPapageorgiou General HospitalThessalonikiGreece
  5. 5.Department of Neurology Medical SchoolUniversity of CreteCreteGreece
  6. 6.Department of Molecular PharmacologyAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  7. 7.Laboratory of Toxicology, School of MedicineUniversity of CreteCreteGreece

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