Oral mucosal wounds heal faster than skin wounds, yet the role of microRNAs in this differential healing has never been examined. To delineate the role of microRNAs in this site-specific injury response, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago used microRNA sequencing to compare the microRNAome of uninjured skin and oral mucosa in mice. A total of 53 tissue-specific microRNAs for skin and oral mucosa epithelium were identified. The most striking difference was the high abundance of miR-10a/b in skin (accounting for 21.10% of the skin microRNAome) as compared to their low expression in oral mucosa (2.87%). The researchers further examined the dynamic changes of microRNAome throughout the time course of skin and oral mucosal wound healing. More differentially expressed microRNAs were identified in skin wounds than oral wounds (200 and 33, respectively). More specifically, miR-10a/b was significantly down-regulated in skin but not oral wounds. In contrast, up-regulation of miR-21 was observed in both skin and oral wounds. The therapeutic potential of miR-10b and miR-21 in accelerating wound closure was demonstrated in in vitro assays and in a murine skin wound model. Thus, this study has provided the first site-specific microRNA profile of skin and oral mucosal wound healing, and demonstrate the feasibility of a microRNA-based therapy for promoting wound closure.


Comparison of microRNA expression during wound healing of skin and oral mucosal epithelium. 

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Simões A, Chen L, Chen Z, Zhao Y, Gao S, Marucha PT, Dai Y, DiPietro LA, Zhou X. (2019) Differential microRNA profile underlies the divergent healing responses in skin and oral mucosal wounds. Sci Rep 9(1):7160. [article]

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