Towards topical microRNA-directed therapy for epidermal disorders

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There remains an unmet dermatological need for innovative topical agents that achieve better longterm outcomes with fewer side effects. Modulation of the expression and activity of microRNA (miRNAs) represents an emerging translational framework for the development of such innovative therapies because changes in the expression of one miRNA can have wide-ranging effects on diverse cellular processes associated with disease. In this short review, the roles of miRNA in epidermal development, psoriasis, cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and re-epithelisation are highlighted. Consideration is given to the delivery of oligonucleotides that mimic or inhibit miRNA function using vehicles such as cell penetrating peptides, spherical nucleic acids, deformable liposomes and liquid crystalline nanodispersions. Formulation of miRNA-directed oligonucleotides with such skin-penetrating epidermal agents will drive the development of RNA-based cutaneous therapeutics for deployment as primary or adjuvant therapies for epidermal disorders.

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