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J Cell Biochem. 2012 Apr;113(4):1104-10. doi: 10.1002/jcb.24004.

Control of mitochondrial activity by miRNAs.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.


Mitochondria supply energy for physiological function and they participate in the regulation of other cellular events including apoptosis, calcium homeostasis, and production of reactive oxygen species. Thus, mitochondria play a critical role in the cells. However, dysfunction of mitochondria is related to a variety of pathological processes and diseases. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small noncoding RNAs about 22 nucleotides long, and they can bind to the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of mRNAs, thereby inhibiting mRNA translation or promoting mRNA degradation. We summarize the molecular regulation of mitochondrial metabolism, structure, and function by miRNAs. Modulation of miRNAs levels may provide a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of mitochondria-related diseases.

© 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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