Noncoding RNAs in Wound Healing – A New and Vast Frontier

Wound healing requires a highly orchestrated coordination of processes that are not yet fully understood. Therefore, available clinical therapies are thus far limited in their efficacy in preventing and treating both chronic wounds and scars. Current gene-based therapeutics is largely based on our understanding of the protein-coding genome and proteins involved in known wound healing pathways.

Noncoding RNAs such as microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs have recently been found to be significant modulators of gene expression in diverse cellular pathways. Research has now implicated noncoding RNAs in nearly every stage of the wound healing process, suggesting that they may serve as clinical therapeutic targets. Noncoding RNAs are critical regulators in processes such as angiogenesis and cutaneous cell migration and proliferation, including classically described biological pathways previously attributed to mostly protein constituents.

The complexity and diversity of the interactions of noncoding RNAs with their targets and other binding partners require thorough characterization and understanding of their functions before they may be altered to modulate human wound healing pathways. Research in the area of noncoding RNAs continues to rapidly expand our understanding of their potential roles in physiological and pathological wound healing. Coupled with improving technologies to enhance or suppress target noncoding RNA in vivo, these advances hold great promise in the development of new therapies for wound healing.

Known mechanisms of lncRNAs include acting as signals,
decoys, guides, and scaffolds to regulate cell behavior


Luan A, Hu MS, Leavitt T, Brett EA, Wang KC, Longaker MT, Wan DC. (2018) Noncoding RNAs in Wound Healing: A New and Vast Frontier. Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle) 7(1):19-27. [article]

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