Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic interstitial lung diseases characterized by pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis. The pathogenesis of IPF involves multiple cell-cell interactions, cross-talk of multiple signal transduction pathways and gene regulation. MicroRNA is a non-coding ~22-nucleotide small RNA implicated in many biological processes and diseases. MicroRNAs regulate ~ 1/3 of mRNAs. However, nothing is known regarding the role of miRNAs in IPF. We hypothesize that miRNAs are dys-regulated during the progression of IPF and that these miRNAs regulate genes responsible for the development of IPF. Using a miRNA microarray, we will perform microRNA microarray analyses of LTRC IPF samples. The identified miRNAs will be verified by real-time PCR. The cellular localizations of the selected microRNAs will be determined by in situ hybridization. This pilot study will provide the basis for further functional studies of miRNAs in IPF.
The completion of this proposal will further our knowledge about the pathogenesis of IPF as well as provide a baseboard for the development of novel therapeutic strategies.
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