Brief Introduction on microRNA
- MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small (approximately 22 nt) noncoding RNAs that play an important role
in the regulation of various biological processes through their interaction with cellular messenger RNAs.
- They are frequently dysregulated in cancer and have shown promise as tissue-based markers for cancer classification and prognostication.
- Extracellular miRNAs in serum, plasma, saliva, urine and other body fluids have recently been shown to be associated with
various pathological conditions including cancer.
- miRNAs circulate in the bloodstream in a highly stable, extracellular form, thus they may be used as blood-based biomarkers
for cancer and other diseases. Circulating miRNAs are protected by encapsulation in membrane-bound vesicles such as exosomes,
but the majority of circulating miRNAs in human plasma and serum cofractionate with Argonaute2 (Ago2) protein, rather than with vesicles.