MicroRNA: A new generation therapeutic target in diabetic nephropathy

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Graphical abstractDiabetic nephropathy (DN) is one of the most prevalent lethal complications of diabetes that leads to end stage renal disease. Although several clinical approaches exist to attenuate DN, there is not curative treatment to date. DN is complicated, as it involves several simultaneous molecular pathways. Some natural and synthetic molecules have been reported to inhibit some specific pathogenic signal transduction in DN. However, the complications of DN still remain uncontrolled. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of non-coding RNAs that can bind to the 3′UTR of their target mRNAs to participate in epigenetic regulation of their downstream signalling molecules. Therefore, miRNAs have a potential role in regulating the pathogenesis of several diseases. Recent studies have identified the roles of several miRNAs in the signalling cascade involved in DN pathophysiology. Therefore, miRNAs are an attractive therapeutic target in DN. However, further research is needed to identify the key miRNAs in DN and their specific functions at both the transcriptional and translational levels. This review aimed to provide current information for different miRNAs involved in DN and to provide the future probabilities of miRNA-based therapies in DN.

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