miRNAs (microRNAs) are novel post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Several miRNAs, expressed exclusively in muscle, play important roles during muscle development, growth and regeneration; other ubiquitously expressed miRNAs are also essential for muscle function. In the present review, we outline the miRNAs involved in embryonic muscle development and those that have been found to be dysregulated in diseases associated with skeletal muscle or are changed during muscle adaptation. miRNAs are promising biomarkers and candidates for potential therapeutic intervention. We discuss the strategies that aim to develop novel therapies through modulating miRNA activity. In time, some of these approaches may become available to treat muscle-associated diseases.
- muscle-associated disease
- muscle-specific miRNA (myomiR)
- muscular dystrophy
- non-coding RNA
- skeletal muscle