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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 676575, 17 pages
Review Article

Noncoding RNAs, Emerging Regulators of Skeletal Muscle Development and Diseases

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, 76 Linjiang Road, Chongqing 400010, China
2Department of Cardiology, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 320 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA

Received 15 December 2014; Revised 16 February 2015; Accepted 19 February 2015

Academic Editor: Wanda Lattanzi

Copyright © 2015 Mao Nie et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A healthy and independent life requires skeletal muscles to maintain optimal function throughout the lifespan, which is in turn dependent on efficient activation of processes that regulate muscle development, homeostasis, and metabolism. Thus, identifying mechanisms that modulate these processes is of crucial priority. Noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), including microRNAs (miRNAs) and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), have emerged as a class of previously unrecognized transcripts whose importance in a wide range of biological processes and human disease is only starting to be appreciated. In this review, we summarize the roles of recently identified miRNAs and lncRNAs during skeletal muscle development and pathophysiology. We also discuss several molecular mechanisms of these noncoding RNAs. Undoubtedly, further systematic understanding of these noncoding RNAs’ functions and mechanisms will not only greatly expand our knowledge of basic skeletal muscle biology, but also significantly facilitate the development of therapies for various muscle diseases, such as muscular dystrophies, cachexia, and sarcopenia.