New players in chronic lung disease identified at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Paris 2018: From microRNAs to extracellular vesicles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Since the first description of microRNAs (miRNAs) in 1993 (1) a large and growing number of studies has explored their roles across a variety of biomedical research disciplines, including lung biology. According to GENCODE (version 27) (2), 1881 of the >7,500 human small non-coding RNAs are miRNAs. These 20–25 nucleotide-long, regulatory RNAs are involved in the translational regulation of gene expression principally via binding to miRNA recognition elements largely in the 3' untranslated regions of target mRNAs. Upon binding they can induce mRNA degradation, deadenylation or inhibition of their translation, leading to decreased target gene expression (3). Originally described to play important roles in developmental biology, miRNAs have since been found to have significant roles in a multitude of biological processes. Expression levels of miRNAs vary greatly between cells and tissues, and aberrant levels of miRNA are associated with many diseases in humans. In fact, these non-coding RNA molecules are now recognized as major regulators in the development and progression of various chronic lung diseases, including cystic fibrosis (CF), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma (4-9).


  • Olivier Burgy
  • Elena Fernandez Fernandez
  • Sara Rolandsson Enes
  • Melanie Königshoff
  • Catherine M. Greene
  • Sabine Bartel
External organisations
  • University of Colorado
  • Beaumont Hospital, Dublin
  • University of Vermont
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • Research Center Borstel
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S2983-S2987
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch