MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous small RNAs of 21-25 nucleotides that can pair with sites in 3' untranslated regions in mRNAs of protein-coding genes to downregulate their expression. Recently, circulating miRNAs have been reported as promising biomarkers for various pathologic conditions. We assessed the hypothesis that miRNAs may leak into the circulating blood from injured cells and thereby serve as biomarkers for identifying the injured cell type.
Ji, X., Takahashi, R., Hiura, Y., Hirokawa, G., Fukushima, Y., & Iwai, N. (2009). Plasma miR-208 as a biomarker of myocardial injury. Clinical Chemistry, 55(11), 1944–1949. https://doi.org/10.1373/clinchem.2009.125310