Regulation of mitochondrial function by MicroRNA
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Mitochondria are organelles that are instrumental for the life as well as the death of cell. They have their own genome, present in multiple copies. The mitochondrial genome codes for 13 subunits of mitochondrial complexes, while all other mitochondrial proteins have to be imported from the cytosol, being coded for by the nucleus. Therefore, regulation of the mitochondrial proteome is rather complicated, since all complexes have to assemble properly to exert their biological function. A new angle in the regulation of gene expression has been uncovered recently, occurring at the post-transcriptional level and involving transcripts of short 'non-coding' sequences in the nuclear genome, the so called microRNAs (MiRs). These are intriguing molecules that are rather promiscuous, each of them modulating the expression of multiple genes. Recent research indicates their involvement in the mitochondrial function affecting virtually all aspects of the (patho)physiology of the cells. In this paper, we review the role of MiRs in the regulation of the mitochondrial function, largely in the context of human pathologies.
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