MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small RNAs ( approximately 22-nt) that play an important role in the control of different cell processes by negative regulation of protein-coding genes. In the last several years, a number of miRNA profiling strategies have been used to document the miRNA expression changes during physiological and pathological processes. Aberrant expression of miRNAs has been linked to developmental defects, cancer, neurological disorders, and heart diseases. Over 540 human miRNAs have been validated to date; however, computer models suggest there may be thousands more. As bench work continue to verify in silico predictions, miRNA profiling will remain a prominent tool for identification of differential expression miRNAs in normal cellular courses and human disorders. This review focuses on current strategies for miRNA expression profiling and discusses their sensitivity and specificity, as well as advantage and disadvantage.
(c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.