Non-Coding RNAs: New Players in Skin Wound Healing

Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2017 Mar 1;6(3):93-107. doi: 10.1089/wound.2016.0711.


Significance: Wound healing is a basic physiological process that is utilized to keep the integrity of the skin. Impaired wound repair, such as chronic wounds and pathological scars, presents a major health and economic burden worldwide. To date, efficient targeted treatment for these wound disorders is still lacking, which is largely due to our limited understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying these diseases. Research driven around discovering new therapies for these complications is, therefore, an urgent need. Recent Advances: The vast majority of the human genome is transcribed to RNAs that lack protein-coding capacity. Intensive research in the recent decade has revealed that these non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) function as important regulators of cellular physiology and pathology, which makes them promising therapeutic and diagnostic entities. Critical Issues: A class of short ncRNAs, microRNAs, has been found to be indispensable for all the phases of skin wound healing and plays important roles in the pathogenesis of wound complications. The role of long ncRNAs (lncRNA) in skin wound healing remains largely unexplored. Recent studies revealed the essential role of lncRNAs in epidermal differentiation and stress response, indicating their potential importance for skin wound healing, which warrants future research. Future Directions: An investigation of ncRNAs will add new layers of complexity to our understanding of normal skin wound healing as well as to the pathogenesis of wound disorders. Development of ncRNA-based biomarkers and treatments is an interesting and important avenue for future research on wound healing.

Keywords: chronic wound; microRNA; non-coding RNA; pathological scar; wound healing.

Publication types

  • Review