MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of endogenous small non-coding RNAs that modulate diverse biological processes predominantly by translation inhibition or induction of mRNA degradation. They are important regulatory elements involved in renal physiology and pathology. Dysregulation of miRNAs disrupts early kidney development, renal progenitor cell differentiation and the maintenance of mature nephrons. miRNAs are also reported to participate in various renal diseases, including chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, allograft acute rejection and renal cell carcinoma. Differentially regulated miRNAs may represent innovative biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis. Therefore, determining the roles of miRNAs in different types of renal diseases will help to clarify the pathogenesis and facilitate the development of novel therapies.
Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.