MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNA species that, from higher invertebrates to man, are highly evolutionarily preserved. Up to 1000 miRNAs have been identified so far in human cells, where they are essential regulators at the post-transcriptional stage of the expression of various targets. Different processes, including cell division, metabolism, and inflammation, involve them. MiRNA biogenesis involves the incremental processing by nuclear RNase III Drosha and cytosolic RNase III Dicer of a precursor primary miRNA (pri-miRNA) molecule, which gradually leads to the incorporation of the so-called ‘guide strand’ derived from a transitory intermediate RNA duplex into the macromolecular RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), which silences gene expression by hindering gene expression (s). In the pathogenesis of widespread, non-autoimmune inflammatory diseases, an expanding list of miRNAs is known to be involved. Interestingly, osteoarthritis (OA) is now being conceptualized as a metabolic disorder, as hyperuricemia and metabolic syndrome are associated (MetS). Experimental evidence indicates that metabolic deregulation is a commonality between these various pathological entities and that in the modulation of metabolic routes, miRNAs are key players. In view of these results, the role of miRNAs in OA and gouty arthritis as well as the potential therapeutic targetability of miRNAs in these diseases are discussed in this study.
Author (s) Details
Dr. Panagiota Papanagnou Department of Urology, Agios Savvas Cancer Hospital, Athens 11522, Greece.