MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent an elegant mechanism of posttranscriptional control of gene expression that serves to fine-tune biological processes. These tiny noncoding RNAs (20–22 nucleotide) bind to the 3′ untranslated region of mRNAs, thereby repressing gene expression. Recent advances in the understanding of lipid metabolism have revealed that miRNAs, particularly miR-122 and miR-33, play major roles in regulating cholesterol and fatty acid homeostasis. miR-122, the most abundant miRNA in the liver, appears to maintain the hepatic cell phenotype, and its inhibition decreases total serum cholesterol. miR-33, an intronic miRNA located with the sterol response element-binding protein (SREBP)-2 gene, regulates cholesterol efflux, fatty acid β oxidation, and high-density lipoprotein metabolism. These findings have highlighted the complexity of lipid homeostasis and the important role that miRNAs play in these processes, potentially opening new avenues for the treatment of dyslipidemias.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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