MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are known to suppress gene expression by binding to messenger RNAs and in turn regulate different pathophysiological processes. Transforming growth factor-β, mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling, and Wnt signaling-like major pathways associated with miRNAs are involved with kidney diseases. The discovery of miRNAs has provided new insights into kidney pathologies and may provide effective therapeutic strategies. Research has demonstrated the role of miRNAs in a variety of kidney diseases including diabetic nephropathy, lupus nephritis, hypertension, nephritic syndrome, acute kidney injury, renal cell carcinoma, and renal fibrosis. miRNAs are implicated as playing a role in these diseases due to their role in apoptosis, cell proliferation, differentiation, and development. As miRNAs have been detected in a stable condition in different biological fluids, they have the potential to be tools to study the pathogenesis of human diseases with a great potential to be used in disease diagnosis and prognosis. The purpose of this review is to examine the role of miRNA in kidney disease.
Keywords: Basic kidney diseases; end-stage renal disease; epigenetics; microRNA.