Aberrant non-coding RNA expression profiles as biomarker/bio-signature in autoimmune and inflammatory rheumatic diseases
Non-coding RNAs (ncRNA) are functional RNA molecules transcribed from DNA but not translated into protein. The major function of ncRNA is to modulate messenger RNA (mRNA) expression. Conventionally, these ncRNAs are categorized into long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs, longer than 200 nucleotides) and small non-coding RNAs (sncRNAs, shorter than 200 nucleotides). microRNAs (miRNAs), a member of sncRNA with 20–24 nucleotides, have been demonstrated to be involved in the development of innate and adaptive immune systems. As a result, aberrant expression of miRNAs may elicit autoimmune and inflammatory reactions. Although many different biomarkers in the cell, serum or body fluid have been reported, the ideal biomarkers or bio-signatures for the diagnosis, disease activity evaluation, therapeutic monitoring, or outcome prediction of various diseases have still not been found. Recently high-throughput “omics” assay including proteomics, transcriptomics or metabolomics, and bioinformatic analysis have revealed that thousands of ncRNAs can potentially become biomarkers/bio-signatures for autoimmune-related diseases. In this mini-review, we’ll try to identify the useful miRNA biomarkers/bio-signatures from the literature including ours, to clarify the potential pathogenetic/pathological processes mediated by these miRNAs and to disclose their future prospects.