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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2011 Oct;401(7):2051-61. doi: 10.1007/s00216-011-5001-8. Epub 2011 May 6.

MicroRNAs as biomarkers of disease onset.

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  • 1Department of Medical Biotechnology, Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Kraków, Poland.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, noncoding RNA molecules with the ability to posttranscriptionally regulate gene expression via targeting the 3' untranslated region of messenger RNAs. miRNAs are critical for normal cellular functions such as the regulation of the cell cycle, differentiation, and apoptosis, and they target genes during embryonal and postnatal development, whereas their expression is unbalanced in various pathological states. Importantly, miRNAs are abundantly present in body fluids (e.g., blood), which are routinely examined in patients. These molecules circulate in free and exosome encapsulated forms, and can be efficiently detected and amplified by means of molecular biology tools such as real-time PCR. Together with relative stability, specificity, and reproducibility, they are seen as good candidates for early recognition of the onset of disease. Thus, miRNAs might be considered as biomarkers for many pathological states.

© Springer-Verlag 2011

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