MicroRNA regulation of airway smooth muscle function

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Airway smooth muscle (ASM) controls airway narrowing and plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of asthma. MicroRNAs are small yet powerful gene tuners that regulate diverse cellular processes. Recent studies have demonstrated the versatile role of microRNAs in regulating multiple ASM phenotypes that are critically involved in asthma pathogenesis. These ASM phenotypes include proliferation, cell size, chemokine secretion, and contractility. Here we review microRNA-mediated regulation of ASM functions and discuss the potential of microRNAs as a novel class of therapeutic targets to improve ASM function for asthma therapy.

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