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Regulation of ion transport by microRNAs.

  • Emilie Elvira-Matelot
  • Xavier Jeunemaitre
  • Juliette Hadchouel
DOI: 10.1097/MNH.0b013e328348b4aa


This review aims to describe the recent findings obtained on the regulation of ion transport by microRNAs in physiological and pathological situations in different organs and organisms. The number of ion channels or transporters can be regulated by increasing or decreasing the transcription and/or translation of the corresponding genes. In this context, a new class of regulators of gene expression has emerged as an important modulator of ion transport. microRNAs are short noncoding RNAs which inhibit gene expression by enhancing the degradation or inhibiting the translation of their targets. Most of the studies published so far describe their roles during embryonic development and tumorigenesis. However, recent studies have started to unravel how microRNA-mediated modulation of ion transport could contribute not only to the development of pathological states, such as heart disease, but also to the osmotic regulation of various organisms. The contribution of microRNAs to the regulation of ion transport has only begun to be unraveled, mostly in cardiomyocytes. Only a few studies have focused on the kidney but they strongly suggest that microRNAs could play an important role in the regulation of renal ion transport in response to variation in daily food intake.

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