Humankind has always been intrigued by death, as illustrated by the eternal quest for the fountain of youth. Aging is a relentless biological process slowly progressing as life cycle proceeds. Indeed, aging traduces an accumulation of physiological changes over time that render organisms more likely to die. Thus, despite our mastery of advanced technologies and robust medical knowledge, defining the molecular basis of aging to control lifespan is still currently one of the greatest challenges in biology. In mammals, the skin is the ultimate multitasker vital organ, protecting organisms from the world they live in. As a preferential interface with the environment, the skin is reflecting the internal physiological balances. The maintenance of these balances, called homeostasis, depends on the concurrent assimilation of diversified signals at the cellular level. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression by mRNAs degradation or translational repression. Their relatively recent discovery in 2000 provided new insights into the understanding of the gene regulatory networks. In this chapter, we focused on the role of three miRNA families, namely miR-30, miR-200, and miR-181, playing a key role in the progression of the skin aging process, with particular input in mechanistic considerations related to autophagy, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial homeostasis.
Part of the book: Non-Coding RNAs