The present volume is unique in that it documents some of the latest research in this area in Indian labs. The first chapter describes the basic biology of miRNA biogenesis, to bring into perspective the known mechanisms for miRNA generation. The second chapter deals with computational methods to predict miRNA genes and their target genes, and to understand the mechanism of miRNA function by theoretical modeling of gene regulatory networks. The subsequent chapters discuss the involvement of miRNAs in a variety of human diseases and disease processes, including glioblastoma, neurogenesis and neurodegeneration, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, parasitic infections, hepatocellular carcinoma, Alzheimer’s disease, and metabolic disorders. The authors highlight the miRNA-based therapeutic strategies, and the use of miRNAs as biomarkers for monitoring disease progression. Pathogens can exploit host miRNAs, as well as express their own miRNAs to promote their survival and evade host immune response. In other diseases, the expression of different miRNA classes is associated with disease progression and can be used for early detection and prognosis. The replacement or inhibition of miRNAs could also be used for potential therapy. Obviously, the pattern of expression of disease-related miRNAs could be specific to different ethnic populations, which makes the studies with Indian patients essential and important. This volume will be invaluable to students, researchers, and clinicians and would hopefully boost further research with miRNAs to harvest the potential of these molecules for the benefit of patients.
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