Newswise — MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have recently been addressed as novel mediators of cell–cell communication, being secreted from cells, and are found in many different biological fluids. Such characteristics also make miRNA potential disease biomarkers. Alterations in miRNA expression have been linked to pathological features and these characteristics make miRNA potential disease biomarkers. 

In a review article published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences Special Issue “Crosstalk between MicroRNA and Oxidative Stress in Physiology and Pathology 2.0,” authors from the Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO), at the Center for Biotechnology, Temple University, and the University of L'Aquila, Italy, focused on miRNAs and their role in mitochondrial dysfunction in aging-related neurodegenerative diseases. The article, titled “MicroRNAs Dysregulation and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Neurodegenerative Diseases,” explores the potential of both as diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets. These aspects may have important implications for the design of new drugs and therapeutic interventions for these progressive and incurable diseases. 

“The ms points towards the roles of microRNAs (miRNAs) in mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodegeneration,” says Annamaria Cimini of the University of L'Aquila, lead author of the review.  

“It appears clear that any neurodegenerative disease is characterized by specific miRNAs, with the consequent downregulation or up-regulation of specific genes,” says Antonio Giordano, M.D., Ph.D., Founder and Director of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine and the Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO). “However, each condition analyzed shares some miRNA with the others, thus indicating an overlapping of some pathways. This is conceivable if the common presence of oxidative stress and mitochondrial impairment in diverse diseases is considered,” Giordano concludes. 

The authors would like to acknowledge support from the Ken and Ann Douglas Charitable Foundation.

About the Sbarro Health Research Organization
The Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO) is non-profit charity committed to funding excellence in basic genetic research to cure and diagnose cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and other chronic illnesses and to foster the training of young doctors in a spirit of professionalism and humanism. To learn more about the SHRO please visit www.shro.org

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