Hwa Jin Jung and Yousin Suh Pages 548 - 557 ( 10 )
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules that negatively regulate gene expression of their targets at the post-transcriptional levels. A single miRNA can target up to several hundred mRNAs, thus capable of significantly altering gene expression regulatory networks. In-depth study and characterization of miRNAs has elucidated their critical functions in development, homeostasis, and disease. A link between miRNAs and longevity has been demonstrated in C. elegans, implicating their role in regulation of lifespan and in the aging process. Recent years have witnessed unprecedented technological advances in studies of miRNAs, including ultra-high throughput sequencing technologies that allow comprehensive discovery of miRNAs and their targets. Here we review the latest experimental approaches from the perspective of understanding miRNA gene expression regulatory networks in aging. We provide a methodological work flow that can be employed to discover aging-related miRNAs and their targets, and to functionally validate their roles in aging. Finally, we review the links between miRNAs known to act in the conserved pathways of aging and major aging-related diseases. Taken together, we hope to provide a focused review to facilitate future endeavor of uncovering the functional role of miRNA in aging.
Aging, Longevity, Gene regulatory network, High-throughput sequencing, microRNAs, Target validation
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1301 Morris Park Avenue, Price Center 475 Bronx, NY 10461, USA.