The impact of microRNAs on endocrinology

Harel Zalts, Noam Shomron

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The endocrine system controls various cellular functions, constitutes a communication network between cells and distant tissues, and is vital for maintaining homeostasis. The couriers of this system are the hormones, which are produced by endocrine cells, secreted into the bloodstream and interact with receptors to exert their effect. The regulatory effect is manifested by either activating signaling cascades or by altering transcription patterns. Though thoroughly examined, many aspects of the endocrine system's function are still unclear. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short (∼22nt), non-coding RNAs that comprise a new subset of cellular regulatory molecules. MiRNAs regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally, by base pairing with the messenger RNA's (mRNA) 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR). In recent years, miRNAs have emerged as key players in all cellular processes, and their aberrant expression has been linked with different types of disease and malignancies. This review focuses on the role of miRNAs in the function of the endocrine system, emphasizing the intricate reciprocal relationship between these two important regulatory systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-362
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Endocrinology Reviews
Volume8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2011

Keywords

  • Endocrine system
  • Hormone
  • MicroRNA
  • Non-coding RNA

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