MicroRNAs Modulate the Purinergic Signaling Network

Trends Mol Med. 2016 Oct;22(10):905-918. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2016.08.006. Epub 2016 Sep 10.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules capable of silencing mRNA targets. miRNA dysregulation has been linked to cancer development, cardiovascular and neurological diseases, lipid metabolism, and impaired immunity. Therefore, miRNAs are gaining interest as putative novel disease biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Recent studies have shown that purinergic surface receptors activated by extracellular nucleotides (ATP, ADP, UTP, UDP), and by nucleosides such as adenosine (ADO), are subject to miRNA regulation. This opens a new and previously unrecognized opportunity to modulate the purinergic network with the aim of avoiding abnormal activation of specific receptor subtypes. miRNA technology will hopefully contribute strategies to prevent purinergic-mediated tissue damage in conditions of neurodegeneration, atherosclerosis, transplantation, and even neoplasia.

Keywords: P1 receptors; P2 receptors; extracellular nucleotides; miRNAs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Purinergic / genetics
  • Receptors, Purinergic / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Purinergic