MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of gene expression and translation. The genetic variants altering miRNA targets have been associated with many diseases. Here we systematically mapped the human genetic polymorphisms that may affect miRNA-mRNA interactions in the autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) pathway. We also mapped the polymorphic miRNA target sites in the genes that have been linked to AITDs or other thyroid-related diseases/phenotypes in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). These genetic polymorphisms may potentially contribute to the pathogenesis of AITDs and other thyroid diseases. The polymorphic miRNA-mRNA interactions we mapped in the AITD pathway and the GWAS-informed thyroid disease loci may provide insights into the possible miRNA-mediated molecular mechanisms through which genetic variants assert their influences on thyroid diseases and phenotypes.
Keywords: Autoimmunity; genetic polymorphism; microRNA; pathway; thyroid.