MicroRNA-21 with therapeutic potential in autoimmune diseases

Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2013 Jun;17(6):659-65. doi: 10.1517/14728222.2013.773311. Epub 2013 Mar 19.


Introduction: Small, non-coding, microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as key mediators of post-transcriptional gene silencing in both pathogenic and pathological aspects of disorders. Recently, miR-21 was identified to regulate a variety of immune cells. Functional analysis indicated that miR-21 played a crucial role in a plethora of biological functions and diseases including development, cancer and inflammation, especially correlated with the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases.

Areas covered: This review provides a comprehensive view on the association of miR-21 and autoimmune disorders, such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis and psoriasis. Especially the mechanisms of miR-21 perform in these diseases, and the mechanisms that regulate miR-21.

Expert opinion: Though the exact roles of miR-21 in autoimmune diseases have not been fully elucidated, targeting miR-21 may serve as a promising therapy strategy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / physiopathology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / therapy*
  • Autoimmunity / immunology
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Gene Silencing
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / immunology*


  • MIRN21 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs