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EMBO Molecular Medicine

All articles accepted from 14 August 2012 are published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.   Articles accepted before this date were published under the agreement as stated in the final article.

Cover image for Vol. 6 Issue 4

Edited By: Stefanie Dimmeler (Chief Editor), Roberto Buccione and Céline Carret (EMBO Editors)

Online ISSN: 1757-4684

Review Series: small RNAs

Small RNAs or non-coding RNAs are functional RNAs that are not translated into proteins. They include tRNAs, rRNAs, snoRNAs, piRNAs, long non-coding RNAs and microRNAs (miRNAs). They are highly abundant and involved in many different cellular processes. miRNAs are usually very short (22nt) and act as post-transcriptional regulators by binding to a complementary sequence on target mRNAs, most of the time resulting in the target silencing or degradation. Increasingly, deregulated miRNAs are found intimately involved in human diseases, in cancer, hearing loss, but also neurodegenerative or cardiovascular diseases. They can also act as circulating biomarkers and are being developed for therapy. This Review Series covers all those different aspects of small RNAs in diseases.


EMBO Molecular Medicine - MicroRNAs in age-related diseases
Stefanie Dimmeler, Pierluigi Nicotera
EMBO Mol Med 2012, 5(2), Early View
MicroRNAs have been implicated in the aging process. This review discusses recent findings on the roles of microRNAs in conditions associated with aging, with a focus on cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
EMBO Molecular Medicine - microRNAs: the art of silencing in the ear
Anya Rudnicki, Karen B. Avraham
EMBO Mol Med 2012, 4(9), 849-859
MicroRNAs have been implicated in ear development, function and pathologic conditions like deafness and otitis media. This Review discusses the clinical and therapeutic consequences of understanding the role of miRNAs in the ear.
EMBO Molecular Medicine - MicroRNA dysregulation in cancer
Marilena V. Iorio1, Carlo M. Croce
EMBO Mol Med 2012, 4(3), 143–159
Aberrant microRNA expression signatures are a hallmark of several diseases, including cancer. miRNAs are getting more and more implicated in tumor development, progression and response to therapy, suggesting their possible use as diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers. This Review summarizes our current knowledge and addresses the future prospects of miRNAs in oncology.

Further reading on miRNAs and disease

The underlying molecular causes of alcohol addiction remain unclear. Many miRNAs are found modulated in the nucleus accumbens of rats chronically treated with alcohol. Specifically, miR-382 is shown to regulate alcohol intake via DRD1 and DeltaFosB.
Jingyuan Li, Jing Li, Xiaojun Liu, Shanshan Qin, Yanzhong Guan, Yuwei Liu, Yunhui Cheng, Xiuwen Chen, Wen Li, Shenming Wang, Ming Xiong, Eldo V. Kuzhikandathil, Jiang-Hong Ye and Chunxiang Zhang
EMBO Mol Med 2013, 5(9), 1402–1414

C-Myc overexpression is one of the most common aberrations in human cancers. Here, the authors identified miR-33b as a negative regulator of c-Myc and show that lovastatin upregulates its expression resulting in suppressed c-Myc expression accompanied by reduced tumor growth and increased survival in mice.
Apana A. L. Takwi, Yan Li, Lindsey E. Becker Buscaglia, Jingwen Zhang, Saibyasachi Choudhury, Ae Kyung Park, Mofang Liu, Ken H. Young, Woong-Yang Park, Robert C. G. Martin and Yong Li
EMBO Mol Med 2012, 4(9), 896–909

Hypercholesterolemia patients are usually prescribed statins, which induces miR-33 and regulates HDL cholesterol in the liver. Baldan and colleagues show here that miR-33 also modulates expression of hepatic sterol transporters and thus contributes to the hepatotoxic effects of statins in patients.
Ryan M. Allen, Tyler J. Marquart, Carolyn J. Albert, Frederick J. Suchy, David Q.-H. Wang, Meenakshisundaram Ananthanarayanan, David A. Ford and Ángel Baldán
EMBO Mol Med 2012, 4(9), 882–895

Cardiac hypertrophy accompanies the majority of disease- and age-related cardiac pathologies. Here, the authors report that miR-142, which targets mediators of growth and survival, ensures that these signals remain quiescent in the non-stressed heart.
Salil Sharma, Jing Liu, Jianqin Wei, Huijun Yuan, Taifang Zhang and Nanette H. Bishopric
EMBO Mol Med 2012, 4(7), 617–632

This Review discusses the current knowledge about miRNAs therapeutics in cardiovascular diseases on their way to clinical use.
Thomas Thum
EMBO Mol Med 2012, 4(1), 3–14

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a potentially fatal systemic autoimmune disease. The authors show that pharmacological in vivo inhibition of miR-21 using seed-targeting LNAs can alter the course of the disease in mice.
Barry G. Garchow, Oscar Bartulos Encinas, Yiu Tak Leung, Patricia Y. Tsao, Robert A. Eisenberg, Roberto Caricchio, Susanna Obad, Andreas Petri, Sakari Kauppinen and Marianthi Kiriakidou
EMBO Mol Med 2011, 3(10), 605–615

The authors report a blood test for the diagnosis of NSCLC of potential impact in the design of screening programmes for early detection in at-risk individuals, with perspective improvement in the prognosis of the disease.
Fabrizio Bianchi, Francesco Nicassio, Matteo Marzi, Elena Belloni, Valentina Dall'Olio, Loris Bernard, Giuseppe Pelosi, Patrick Maisonneuve, Giulia Veronesi and Pier Paolo Di Fiore
EMBO Mol Med 2011, 3(8), 495–503
Pei-Ying Lin and Pan-Chyr Yang
EMBO Mol Med 2011, 3(8), 436–437

Germ-line mutations in the BRCA1 gene strongly predispose women to breast cancer and the BRCA1 protein is absent or present at very low levels in about one third of sporadic breast cancers. This study reports the identification of two microRNAs negatively regulating BRCA1 expression.
Amandine I. Garcia, Monique Buisson, Pascale Bertrand, Ruth Rimokh, Etienne Rouleau, Bernard S. Lopez, Rosette Lidereau, Ivan Mikaélian and Sylvie Mazoyer
EMBO Mol Med 2011, 3(5), 279–290

The authors suggest that miR-1, miR-133, and miR-206 represent valuable biomarkers not only for the diagnosis of DMD onset and progression but also for monitoring the outcomes of therapeutic interventions in humans.
Davide Cacchiarelli, Ivano Legnini, Julie Martone, Valentina Cazzella, Adele D'Amico, Enrico Bertini and Irene Bozzoni
EMBO Mol Med 2011, 3(5), 258–265

Endometriosis is a common, benign gynecological disorder, which is a frequent cause of chronic pelvic pain and infertility in 5–15% of reproductive age women. This study identified a novel gene mutation, which is associated with up to one third of endometriosis cases.
Olga Grechukhina, Rafaella Petracco, Shota Popkhadze, Efi Massasa, Trupti Paranjape, Elcie Chan, Idhaliz Flores, Joanne B. Weidhaas and Hugh S. Taylor
EMBO Mol Med 2011, 3(3), 206–217

This Review focuses on the current status of RNAi-based therapeutics, the challenges it faces and how to overcome them.
Katrin Tiemann and John J. Rossi
EMBO Mol Med 2009, 1(3), 142–151