MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNA transcripts that modulate gene expression and translation through target
mRNA destabilization and/or inhibition of protein synthesis. Various studies have aimed at elucidation of the role of
these small molecules in the regulation of disease activity. Initially, microRNA were believed to merely act as intracellular
mediators fine-tuning mRNA translation into proteins. Recently, the first studies have emerged demonstrating that microRNAs
are also externalized from cells and transported in body fluids, thereby shuttling genetic information from a donor
to a recipient cell. Thus, circulating microRNAs represent attractive non-invasive detectable markers to monitor onset/
progress of diseases. The present article outlines the quantification and biomarker use of microRNAs in various body
fluids of patients with cardiac and kidney disease as well as neurological disorders.
Keywords: microRNAs, kidney, heart, brain, exosomes, microvesicles, biomarker.
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