eISSN: 2084-9834
ISSN: 0034-6233
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vol. 54
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The role of cell-free circulating microRNA in diagnostics in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Agnieszka Paradowska-Gorycka
Barbara Stypińska

Data publikacji online: 2016/07/18
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Within the past years, more and more attention has been devoted to epigenetic anomalies which regulate gene expression without altering the DNA sequence. Therefore, epigenetic modifications are emerging as key pathogenic features of immune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and provide an additional window for understanding the possible mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of disease [1, 2]. DNA methylation, histone modification, nucleosome positioning and microRNAs (miRNAs) are major mechanisms of epigenetic gene regulation. These epigenetic modifications modulate chromatin architecture, thereby participating in the regulation of gene transcription and final interpretation of the encoded genetic information.
Alterations in their profile influence the activity of the immune system.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic, inflammatory/autoimmune, polygenic disease affecting millions of people worldwide. Its etiopathology is attributed to a crosstalk between genetic predisposition and environmental factors [1, 3]. This heterogeneous disorder is characterized by chronic synovitis and a fluctuating clinical course that may result in long-term disability and reduced quality of life in many patients [1, 2, 4]. Although a large panel of effective biotherapies is now available to the rheumatologist, the most important challenging issue remains to find parameters/biomarkers for early diagnosis, monitoring disease activity and response to therapy, and finally understanding RA pathogenesis [1, 3]. Among molecules that are able to fulfill this requirement, microRNAs (miRNAs; miRs) represent an ideal, highly specify and sensitive, noninvasive class of blood-based biomarkers, as they can be aberrantly expressed even in the different stages of RA progression, and expression patterns of miRNAs in human rheumatic diseases appear to be tissue-specific [4].
MiRNAs represent a large family of small, evolutionarily conserved endogenous noncoding RNAs, which are integral parts of gene expression networks that determine cell identity and function. MiRNAs modulate protein expression through either repression of translation or by inducing mRNA degradation and turnover, and their signatures have become one of the most fascinating interests in current biology and medical science [2]. Human miRNA genes are located on all chromosomes except chromosome Y, are mainly observed in introns (70%), constitute only 3% of the human genome, and regulate about 90%...

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