Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common autoimmune disease. The hallmarks of RA are synovial inflammation and hyperplasia, autoantibody production, systemic features, and deformity. A lot of researchers have paid attention to the possibility that microRNAs (miRNAs) play a role in the pathogenesis of RA. miRNAs are a class of small noncoding RNAs, which have 18–25 nucleotides. These small RNAs modify gene expression by binding to target messenger RNA (mRNA), and they block the translation or induce the degradation of target mRNA. Biological relevance of miRNAs has been investigated in physiological and pathological conditions. A growing body of evidence suggests that miRNAs participate in the inflammatory disorders including RA. In this chapter, an overview of biogenesis and function of miRNAs has been presented to introduce researchers to the changes and functional regulation of the key miRNAs in RA and to provide current knowledge in miRNA and RA. It is important to understand the relationship between the key miRNAs and RA pathology as modulation of specific miRNA alterations could be of great pharmaceutical interest in the future.
Part of the book: New Developments in the Pathogenesis of Rheumatoid Arthritis