Hereditas (Beijing) (遗传) 2014/36:2 PP.103-110
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a type of non-coding RNAs which are short (17-25nt) and highly conservative in evolution. They can regulate gene expression by preventing target mRNA translation or inducing degradation via oligonucleotides complementary to target mRNA. Here, we briefly summarize the functions and regulatory mechanisms of microRNA-181 (miR-181) in cell proliferation, apoptosis and differentiation, and discuss the miR-181-mediated regulation of immune response in lymphocyte proliferation and differentiation, autoimmunity, inflammation and virus infection. Also, we analyze the functions of miR-181 in tumorigenesis, tumor development, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. Finally, we discuss the application prospects of miR-181. The functional studies of miR-181 family members have important significance in understanding the mechanisms of biological events, pathogenesis of diseases, and finding new ways to diagnose and treat related diseases.