microRNAs: the art of silencing in the ear
Article first published online: 29 JUN 2012
Copyright © 2012 EMBO Molecular Medicine
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
EMBO Molecular Medicine
Volume 4, Issue 9, pages 849–859, September 2012
How to Cite
Rudnicki, A. and Avraham, K. B. (2012), microRNAs: the art of silencing in the ear. EMBO Mol Med, 4: 849–859. doi: 10.1002/emmm.201100922
- Issue published online: 4 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 29 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 15 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Received: 6 FEB 2012
- Israel Science Foundation. Grant Number: 1320/11
- I-CORE Gene Regulation in Complex Human Disease. Grant Number: 41/11
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression through the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway and by inhibition of mRNA translation. miRNAs first made their appearance in the auditory and vestibular systems in 2005, with the discovery of a triad of hair cell-specific miRNAs later found to be involved in both human and mouse deafness. Since then, miRNAs have been implicated in other medical conditions related to these systems, such as cholesteatomas, vestibular schwannomas and otitis media. Due to the limitations in studying miRNAs and their targets derived from human inner ears, animal models are vital in this field of research. Therefore their role in inner ear development and function has been demonstrated by studies in zebrafish and mice. Transcriptomic and proteomic approaches have been undertaken to identify miRNAs and their targets. Finally, it has been suggested that miRNAs may be used in the future in regeneration of inner ear hair cells and ultimately play a role in therapeutics.