Posttranscriptional gene regulation: novel pathways for glucocorticoids? Anti-inflammatory action
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Posttranscriptional gene regulation (PTR) is a fundamental biological process that integrates with the master transcriptional control of gene expression, in ways that only in the last decade have been increasingly understood [1, 2]. While epigenetic and transcriptional events shape cell response qualitatively, deciding the pattern of gene expression to ‘switch on or off’ in response to endogenous or environmental triggers, the key task of PTR is to act as a ‘rheostat’ and rapidly adapt the cellular response by providing the appropriate amplitude and timing to the protein expression patterns [3, 4]. The pivotal role of this mechanism comes to the forefront in inflammatory and immune response, where the changes in amplitude and duration in the expression of dangerous and protective genes are in delicate balance, and are critical in determining either the successful resolution of the immune response or its chronic overexpression . This brief review introduces members of the main classes of molecules mediating the cytoplasmic arm of gene regulation, namely RNAbinding proteins and micro-RNA (miRNA), and summarizes experimental data that underscore the role of these molecules in the pathophysiology of chronic inflammation, as well as their promising value as mechanisms conveying the anti-inflammatory effect of synthetic glucocorticoids.