microRNA Silencing May Cure Diseases

Armen Hareyan's picture

Scientists have found a new way to treat numerous health conditions by silencing certain genes - microRNAs.

RNA is a genetic molecule like DNA, microRNA is a strand of RNA which regulates gene's work. microRNAs play key role in numerous disease, they control everything going on in cells. MicroRNA silencing technique is basically blocking microRNAs causing particular disease.


A joint team of scientists from US and Denmark conducted a trial on African green monkeys. They did injections blocking liver microRNA-122, which is responsible for cholesterol production.

Scientists did three doses of injection to monkeys during five days. Cholesterol levels were reduced by 30% after all injection sessions. The results remained the low during three weeks.

The study sounds to be very promising, bur scientists need to do more research and lab trials on humans, to ensure the technique is safe. MicroRNA silencing may have adverse side effects like blocking 'good' cholesterol in this trial.

Researchers may use this technique to target diseases like cholesterol levels, hepatitis, kidney and liver diseases, and even cancer. All they need is just to find the exact microRNA responsible for a certain condition and to block it.