© 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of short, non-coding RNA molecules (∼22 nt) involved in post-transcriptional control of gene expression. They act via base-pairing with mRNA transcripts that harbour target sequences, resulting in accelerated mRNA decay and/or translational attenuation. Given miRNAs mediate the expression of molecules involved in many aspects of normal cell development and functioning, it is not surprising that aberrant miRNA expression is closely associated with many human diseases. Their pivotal role in driving a range of normal cellular physiology as well as pathological processes has established miRNAs as potential therapeutics, as well as potential diagnostic and prognostic tools in human health. MicroRNA-7 (miR-7) is a highly conserved miRNA which displays restricted spatiotemporal expression during development and in maturity. In humans and mice, mature miR-7 is generated from three different genes, illustrating unexpected redundancy and also the importance of this miRNA in regulating key cellular processes. In this review we examine the expanding role of miR-7 in the context of health, with emphasis on organ differentiation and development, as well as in various mammalian diseases, particularly of the brain, heart, endocrine pancreas and skin, as well as in cancer. The more we learn about miR-7, the more we realise the complexity of its regulation and potential functional application both from a biomarker and therapeutic perspective.
|Journal||International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|