MicroRNAs as modulators of longevity and the aging process

  • Holly E. Kinser
  • Zachary PincusEmail author
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Molecular Genetics of Aging and Longevity


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, non-coding RNAs that post-transcriptionally repress translation or induce mRNA degradation of target transcripts through sequence-specific binding. miRNAs target hundreds of transcripts to regulate diverse biological pathways and processes, including aging. Many microRNAs are differentially expressed during aging, generating interest in their use as aging biomarkers and roles as regulators of the aging process. In the invertebrates Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila, a number of miRNAs have been found to both positive and negatively modulate longevity through canonical aging pathways. Recent studies have also shown that miRNAs regulate age-associated processes and pathologies in a diverse array of mammalian tissues, including brain, heart, bone, and muscle. The review will present an overview of these studies, highlighting the role of individual miRNAs as biomarkers of aging and regulators of longevity and tissue-specific aging processes.



This work was supported by National Human Genome Institute Grant T32HG000045, National Institutes of Health Grant 1R01AG057748, and a Beckman Young Investigator award from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all the authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Developmental Biology and Department of GeneticsWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA

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