Environmental contaminants exposure may lead to detrimental changes to the microRNAs (miRNAs) expression resulting in several health effects. miRNAs, small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression, have multiple transcript targets and thereby regulate several signalling molecules.
Even a minor alteration in the abundance of one miRNA can have deep effects on global gene expression.
Altered patterns of miRNAs can be responsible for changes linked to various health outcomes, suggesting that specific miRNAs are activated in pathophysiological processes.
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In this review, we provide an overview of studies investigating the impact of air pollution, organic chemicals, and heavy metals on miRNA expression and the potential biologic effects on humans.