MicroRNA/mRNA regulatory networks in the control of skin development and regeneration

Cell Cycle. 2012 Feb 1;11(3):468-74. doi: 10.4161/cc.11.3.19058. Epub 2012 Feb 1.


Skin development, postnatal growth and regeneration are governed by complex and well-balanced programs of gene activation and silencing. The crosstalk between small non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs) and mRNAs is highly important for steadiness of signal transduction and transcriptional activities as well as for maintenance of homeostasis in many organs, including the skin. Recent data demonstrated that the expression of many genes, including cell type-specific master transcription regulators implicated in the control of skin development and homeostasis, is regulated by miRNAs. In addition, individual miRNAs could mediate the effects of these signaling pathways through being their downstream components. In turn, the expression of a major constituent of the miRNA processing machinery, Dicer, can be controlled by cell type-specific transcription factors, which form negative feedback loop mechanisms essential for the proper execution of cell differentiation- associated gene expression programs and cell-cell communications during normal skin development and regeneration. This review summarizes the available data on how miRNA/mRNA regulatory networks are involved in the control of skin development, epidermal homeostasis, hair cycle-associated tissue remodeling and pigmentation. Understanding of the fundamental mechanisms that govern skin development and regeneration will contribute to the development of new therapeutic approaches for many pathological skin conditions by using miRNA-based interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / genetics
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / metabolism
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Hair / growth & development
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Regeneration / genetics*
  • Ribonuclease III / genetics
  • Ribonuclease III / metabolism
  • Skin / growth & development*
  • Skin Pigmentation / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Factors
  • Dicer1 protein, mouse
  • Ribonuclease III
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases