Influenza RNAs (~22?nt), which modulate cellular gene

Influenza A virus (IAV) infections cause ailment in birds
and a number of mammalian species including human population worldwide and have
inordinate impact on human health and prosperity. They are the major causative
agents of acute viral infections of the respiratory tract which may cause
severity from asymptomatic infection to primary viral pneumonia and death. This
virus genome consists of 8 fragments of negative-sense single-stranded RNA
which encodes for 11 major proteins (1). In the 20th century, three
novel strains of influenza virus arose that caused the 1918, 1957, and 1968
pandemics which lead to high mortality rates (2). The
main antigenic elements of influenza A viruses are the hem-agglutinin (H) and
neuraminidase (N) trans-membrane glycoproteins. On the basis of the
antigenicity of these glycoproteins, influenza A viruses are further divided
into 16 H (H1 to H16) and 9 N (N1 to N9) subtypes. Currently, H1N1 and H3N2
subtypes are the main isolates circulating in the human population (3, 4). In human, influenza A virus
infection promotes the massive release of inflammatory cytokines and
chemokines which lead to pulmonary edema, pneumonia, alveolar hemorrhage (5).

MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs (~22?nt), which modulate
cellular gene expression by interrupting the mRNA translation. Recent findings
report that several host cellular microRNAs (cell associated or cell free) are
involved in influenza A virus infection and disease progression in humans. For
example, miR- 323, miR-491, and miR-654 bind to the PBI gene and inhibit the
replication of the H1N1 influenza A virus (6). While miR-155 gets up-regulate
during IAV infection and promotes type I interferon (IFN) signaling which
results in activation of host antiviral innate immune response in macrophages
(7). Since miRNAs are associated in several cellular
processes from developmental biology to disease pathology, they are supposed to
be potent modulators of a range of biological processes.

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Circulating miRNAs have been reported to exhibit typical
expression patterns in context to a number of different pathological
conditions, including cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, systemic inflammatory
diseases, cancer, infectious diseases and metabolic
disorders such as type 2diabetes and obesity (8, 9). Thus, this modulation in expression level of different
circulating miRNAs due to influenza virus infection can be quantified or
detected in circulation by different techniques which proposed them as
potential biomarkers for various diseases.


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