Critical Role of microRNA-21 in the Pathogenesis of Liver Diseases

Ting Zhang, Zhihong Yang, Praveen Kusumanchi, Sen Han, Suthat Liangpunsakul

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that range in length from 18 to 24 nucleotides. As one of the most extensively studied microRNAs, microRNA-21 (miR-21) is highly expressed in many mammalian cell types. It regulates multiple biological functions such as proliferation, differentiation, migration, and apoptosis. In this review, we summarized the mechanism of miR-21 in the pathogenesis of various liver diseases. While it is clear that miR-21 plays an important role in different types of liver diseases, its use as a diagnostic marker for specific liver disease or its therapeutic implication are not ready for prime time due to significant variability and heterogeneity in the expression of miR-21 in different types of liver diseases depending on the studies. Additional studies to further define miR-21 functions and its mechanism in association with each type of chronic liver diseases are needed before we can translate the bedside observations into clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
StatePublished - Jan 31 2020


  • alcohol liver disease (ALD)
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • miRNA-21
  • non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • viral hepatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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