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Chonnam Med J. 2015 Aug;51(2):51-7. doi: 10.4068/cmj.2015.51.2.51. Epub 2015 Aug 17.

Extracellular microRNAs as Biomarkers in Human Disease.

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1
Department of Biochemistry, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea. ; Chonnam National University Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Gwangju, Korea.

Abstract

Dysregulation of microRNA (miRNA) levels is observed in diverse disease states. Early studies showed that by analyzing the expression profile of miRNAs in the tissue sample of a diseased person, it was possible to classify the disease into a specific subtype. To be used for diagnostic purposes more practically, however, a less invasive method than tissue biopsy is required. Surprisingly, it was discovered that a notable amount of extracellular miRNAs circulate throughout the body fluids with high stability. Moreover, the expression profile of miRNAs was shown to differ considerably between healthy and diseased people. In addition, evidence has been accumulating of extracellular miRNAs acting as signaling molecules between distantly located cells. If the expression profile faithfully reflects the disease states, the profiling of extracellular miRNAs will become a useful means of early warning or diagnosis of diverse diseases, replacing more invasive biopsy methods.

KEYWORDS:

Biological markers; Body fluids; MicroRNAs

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