Friday, June 10, 2011
miRNAs strike again!
The ever-increasing number of articles documenting how miRNAs are key players in gene regulation, where overexpression or underexpression of a myriad of miRNAs results in disease states, continues to rise. Clearly, gene regulation is complex and control of transcription or translation is a key determinate in the development of disease. MicroRNAs are proving to be critical mediators of disease states and could potentially be therapeutic targets. Combined with other forms of regulation (epigenetic, transcriptional regulation, post-transcriptional modifications, and so on...) it will be possible to understand how cells specially fine-tune gene expression to maximize performance and prevent disease. Once a complete picture -- involving miRNAs, proteins, RNA, DNA, epigenetic mediators -- is fully realized, then real targeted therapy can be designed. But first, we must understand how each component works. Every new paper documenting how miRNAs control genes and disease is another step to understanding how to successfully target diseases with pharmacologic agents.