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Immune Netw. 2011 Dec;11(6):309-23. doi: 10.4110/in.2011.11.6.309. Epub 2011 Dec 31.

MicroRNAs in Human Diseases: From Lung, Liver and Kidney Diseases to Infectious Disease, Sickle Cell Disease and Endometrium Disease.

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Department of Immunology, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju 561-180, Korea.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of naturally occurring small non-coding RNAs of about 22 nucleotides that have recently emerged as important regulators of gene expression at the posttranscriptional level. Recent studies provided clear evidence that microRNAs are abundant in the lung, liver and kidney and modulate a diverse spectrum of their functions. Moreover, a large number of studies have reported links between alterations of miRNA homeostasis and pathological conditions such as infectious diseases, sickle cell disease and endometrium diseases as well as lung, liver and kidney diseases. As a consequence of extensive participation of miRNAs in normal functions, alteration and/or abnormalities in miRNAs should have importance in human diseases. Beside their important roles in patterning and development, miRNAs also orchestrated responses to pathogen infections. Particularly, emerging evidence indicates that viruses use their own miRNAs to manipulate both cellular and viral gene expression. Furthermore, viral infection can exert a profound impact on the host cellular miRNA expression profile, and several RNA viruses have been reported to interact directly with cellular miRNAs and/or to use these miRNAs to augment their replication potential. Here I briefly summarize the newly discovered roles of miRNAs in various human diseases including infectious diseases, sickle cell disease and enodmetrium diseases as well as lung, liver and kidney diseases.


Infectious diseases; Kidney; Liver; Lung; MicroRNAs; Sickle cell disease

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