About this Research Topic
A short non-coding RNA molecules, microRNAs (miRNAs), are post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression in living cells. In recent years, miRNAs have been found in a wide spectrum of mammalian body fluids including blood plasma, saliva, urine, milk, seminal plasma, tears and amniotic fluid as extracellular circulating nuclease-resistant entities. The changes in miRNA spectra observed in certain fluids correlated with various pathological conditions suggesting that extracellular miRNAs can serve as informative biomarkers for certain diseased including cancer. However, the mechanism of generation and the biological role of extracellular miRNAs remain questionable. The current theories regarding extracellular miRNA origin and function suggest that these miRNAs can be either non-specific ‘by-products’ of cellular activity and cell death or specifically released cell-cell signaling messengers.
The goal of this research topic is to bring together the accumulating knowledge about the extracellular miRNA and its role in disease diagnostics and possibly inter-cellular communication.
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