MicroRNAs: crucial regulators of placental development
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding single-stranded RNAs that are integral to a wide range of cellular processes mainly through the regulation of translation and mRNA stability of their target genes. The placenta is a transient organ that exists throughout gestation in mammals, facilitating nutrient and gas exchange and waste removal between the mother and the fetus. miRNAs are expressed in the placenta, and many studies have shown that miRNAs play an important role in regulating trophoblast differentiation, migration, invasion, proliferation, apoptosis, vasculogenesis/angiogenesis and cellular metabolism. In this review, we provide a brief overview of canonical and non-canonical pathways of miRNA biogenesis and mechanisms of miRNA actions. We highlight the current knowledge of the role of miRNAs in placental development. Finally, we point out several limitations of the current research and suggest future directions.
Source: The journal of Reproductive Science
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