Extracellular Micro-RNAs in Health and Disease: Basic Science, Biogenesis and Release
Abdel Aziz, Mostafa
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Small non-protein coding micro-RNAs are regularly exported out of cells, both in health and disease. More than ninety percent of extracellular miRNAs are associated with lower-molecular-mass complexes bound to Argonaute 2 (Ago2), nucleophosmin-1 (NPM1) and high density lipoproteins (HDL), whereas the rest (~10%) are membrane-vesicle-encapsulated within exosomes, shedding microvesicles and apoptotic bodies. Regardless of the debate of the nature of circulating miRNA as byproducts of routine cell activities or mediators of cell-cell communication, proper understanding of the molecular behaviors of miRNA in health and disease, is expected to open a new gate for the discovery of new diagnostic tools and possibly therapeutic implementation in the near future.