Purpose of review: Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory airway disorder that is characterized by variable and recurring airflow obstruction, chronic airway inflammation and bronchial hyper-responsiveness. The etiopathogenesis of asthma remains a complex issue. The intricacy in developing a more effective therapeutic strategy may be due to a large diversity in causative agents and a lack of understanding of the precise molecular mechanism involved in asthma. However, recent identification of microRNAs (miRs) has enhanced technological abilities to understand the disease process.
Recent findings: miRs regulate gene expression by controlling the translation of a specific type of messenger RNA. miRs have been recently identified as key regulatory RNAs with immense significance in numerous biological processes including asthma. miRs have been implicated to have a fundamental role in acute and chronic asthma and in airway remodeling by the regulation of multiple signal transduction pathways that are involved in the pathogenesis of asthma. It is possible that miRs may bring a fundamental change to our understanding of the pathophysiology of asthma. This may then lead to the development of novel efficacious therapeutic strategies in asthma.
Summary: In this review, we highlight the current understanding of the role and regulation of miRs in asthma.