(miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs regulating gene expression at the post-transcriptional level by blocking translation or promoting cleavage of their target mRNAs. Increasing evidence shows that miRNAs play central roles in gene transcription, signal transduction and pathogenesis of human diseases. Epigenetic changes might be resulting via the miRNAs.
MicroRNAs( miRNAs) have been the focus of many renal disease spectrums from glomerular diseases to transplant rejection. A recent study in Experimental and Molecular Pathology is one of the first to examine the role of miRNAs in HIVAN. The investigators showed that 11 miRNA were downregulated in HIVAN when compared to controlled mice. Further examination showed that miR-200 and miR-33 were the two that had effects on the podocytes specifically.
This begs a question of looking at miRNA in many renal diseases. Another study recently published looked at urinary miR-21, miR-29 and miR-93 as novel biomarkers of fibrosis in patients with IgA nephropathy. Lupus Nephritis had miR-638, miR-198 and miR-146a compared to controls.
Interestingly. miR-155 and miR-126 are elevated in ESRD patients as potential markers of inflammation. miRNAs have been studied in diabetic nephropathy as well.
The list can go on and on... And we are sure to see more role of miRNA in clinical use perhaps in near renal future. Still unclear is how these numbers will be very helpful. Repeat studies to confirm that certain miRNA are markers for lupus flare versus diabetic nephropathy are needed. They might assist in a decision to biopsy or not to biopsy? Or are they mere markers of prognosis. More global decision has to be made on how to use these tests in future use:- markers, or targets for potential treatments....
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