John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Implication of microRNA deregulation in the response of vertebrates to endocrine disrupting chemicals

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MicroRNAs are recently discovered small regulatory molecules that control messenger RNA (mRNA) translation in plants and animals and have been implicated in a variety of hormone‐related physiological pathways. Estrogens, thyroid hormones, and gonadotropins all are known to act on miRNA abundance to cause major shifts in cellular activity, physiology, and homeostatic control mechanisms. Research on cancer biology has also recently considered miRNA as therapeutic targets, as the deregulation of specific miRNA in various tissues has been correlated with tumourigenesis and other carcinogenic responses. As many pharmaceuticals are considered endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), their effects on miRNAs may therefore be important to our understanding of basic physiological control and phenotypic outcomes of wildlife exposed to EDCs. Presented is a brief overview of the synthesis, control, and action of miRNAs, focusing on endocrine systems. The antidepressant fluoxetine will be used as an example for miRNA studies in aquatic species; one of the few examples in ecotoxicology. Given that there is mounting evidence that miRNAs are regulated by hormones, there is a clear need to investigate the potential for environmental EDCs to deregulate miRNA expression and action. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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