MicroRNA Regulation of Airway Inflammation and Airway Smooth Muscle Function: Relevance to Asthma

D. A. Deshpande, M. Dileepan, T. T. Walseth, S. Subramanian, M. S. Kannan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Preclinical Research Genetic and environmental factors contribute to the onset and severity of asthma. Molecular pathogenesis of asthma involves changes in gene expression by a variety of inflammatory mediators acting in autocrine and paracrine fashion on effector cells of the airways. Transcriptional regulation of gene expression in resident airway cells has been studied extensively. However, protein function in a target cell can be regulated at multiple levels starting from transcription followed by post-transcription, translation, and post-translation steps. In this context, small noncoding RNAs known as microRNAs (miRNAs) have evolved as one of the key regulators of gene expression post-transcriptionally. Most importantly, miRNA expression is dynamic in nature and can be regulated by a variety of external stimuli. Altered expression of individual or a group of miRNAs is thought to contribute to human diseases. Recent studies have implicated differential expression of miRNAs in the lungs during inflammation. Most importantly, advanced biochemical and molecular tools could be used to manipulate miRNA expression thereby effecting functional changes in target cells and organ systems. This review summarizes the current understanding of miRNA in the regulation of airway function in health and disease, and highlights the potential clinical utility of mRNAs as biomarkers of airway diseases and as potential therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-295
Number of pages10
JournalDrug Development Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • airway hyperresponsiveness
  • allergic airway disease
  • microRNA therapeutics
  • murine asthma models


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