Specific, sensitive and non-invasive biomarkers are always needed in endocrine disorders. miRNAs are short, non-coding RNA molecules with well-known role in gene expression regulation. They are frequently dysregulated in metabolic and endocrine diseases. Recently it has been shown that they are secreted into biofluids by nearly all kind of cell types. As they can be taken up by other cells they may have a role in a new kind of paracrine, cell-to-cell communication. Circulating miRNAs are protected by RNA-binding proteins or microvesicles hence they can be attractive candidates as diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers. In this review, we summarize the characteristics of extracellular miRNA's and our knowledge about their origin and potential roles in endocrine and metabolic diseases. Discussions about the technical challenges occurring during identification and measurement of extracellular miRNAs and future perspectives about their roles are also highlighted.
- Circulating microRNA
- Endocrine tumor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism