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Theranostics. 2013 Dec 18;3(12):927-9. doi: 10.7150/thno.8113. eCollection 2013.

MicroRNAs - a new generation molecular targets for treating cellular diseases.

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Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford, Bio-X Program, Department of Radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a unique class of non-coding, small RNAs, similar to mRNAs, transcribed by cells, but for entirely different reasons. While mRNAs are transcribed to code for proteins, miRNAs are produced to regulate the production of proteins from mRNAs. miRNAs are central components that tightly and temporally regulating gene expression in cells. Dysregulation of miRNAs expressions in cellular pathogenesis, including cancer, has been reported, and it clearly supports the importance of miRNAs as therapeutic targets in almost every cellular disease. This special issue compiles manuscripts from different authors in order to highlight the importance of microRNAs in cancer and other cellular diseases and how to explore them as therapeutic targets to treat patients with these genetic and metabolic disorders. This issue also covers manuscripts that highlight the obstacles associated with the delivery of therapeutic microRNAs in cells and in vivo in living animals and how to improve and noninvasively monitor the delivery in living animals through molecular imaging, including potential clinical perspectives.


cellular disease; miRNAs; therapeutic targets

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