Circulating microRNAs as Hormones: Intercellular and Inter-organ Conveyors of Epigenetic Information?
Circulating microRNAs in Disease Diagnostics and their Potential Biological Relevance
EXS, January 2015
Yoshioka, Yusuke, Katsuda, Takeshi, Ochiya, Takahiro, Yusuke Yoshioka, Takeshi Katsuda, Takahiro Ochiya
The discovery of microRNAs (miRNAs) has created a paradigm shift not only in the traditional central dogma of molecular biology but also in the research of a variety of human diseases. Fourteen years after the discovery of miRNAs, there was another revolutionary finding: cells can shuttle miRNAs between each other via small lipid bilayer vesicles called exosomes. This exosome-mediated horizontal transfer of genetically encoded messages is now recognized as a means of intercellular communication. This chapter reviews the concept that miRNAs can function as hormones conveying epigenetic information.
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