Role of microRNAs in aldosterone signaling

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Purpose of reviewThe review describes studies investigating the role of microRNAs in the signaling pathway of the mineralocorticoid hormone, aldosterone.Recent findingsEmerging evidence indicates that aldosterone alters the expression of microRNAs in target tissues thereby modulating the expression of key regulatory proteins.SummaryThe mineralocorticoid hormone aldosterone is released by the adrenal glands in a homeostatic mechanism to regulate blood volume. The long-term renal action of aldosterone is to increase the retrieval of sodium from filtered plasma to restore blood pressure. Emerging evidence indicates aldosterone may alter noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) to integrate this hormonal response in target tissue. Expression of the best characterized small ncRNAs, microRNAs, is regulated by aldosterone stimulation. MicroRNAs modulate protein expression at all steps in the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone-signaling (RAAS) system. In addition to acting as a rheostat to fine-tune protein levels in aldosterone-responsive cells, there is evidence that microRNAs down-regulate components of the signaling cascade as a feedback mechanism. The role of microRNAs is, therefore, as signal integrator, and damper in aldosterone signaling, which has implications in understating the RAAS system from both a physiological and pathophysiological perspective. Recent evidence for microRNA's role in RAAS signaling will be discussed.

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