Available data demonstrate that eukariotic genomes are pervasively transcribed. In some cases, transcription involves both filaments (even though not at the same time). Intriguingly, only up to 4% of our genome encodes the proteome, whereas the rest is transcribed in RNA molecules other than mRNA, as microRNA (miRNAs), long non coding RNA (lncRNAs), circular RNA (circRNAs). In many cases, these non coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are supposed to be untranslated. Altogether, it is easy to speculate that these molecules (and the genome regions where their encoding genes map) hide many of the secrets of human BioMedicine (eg, organism development, control of cell proliferation, cell differentiation, molecular bases of neoplastic and degenerative diseases): this explains the great interest toward this genome space, which was once deemed dark area and now is an advanced frontier territory, to be explored also through Biotechnology.


  1. MicroRNAs as Novel Biomarkers for the Diagnosis and Prognosis of Mild and Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. Di Pietro V, Ragusa M, Davies DJ, Su Z, Hazeldine J, Lazzarino G, Hill LJ, Crombie N, Foster M, Purrello M, Logan A, Belli A. J Neurotrauma. 2017 Mar 9. doi: 10.1089/neu.2016.4857.  PMID: 28279125
  2. MicroRNAs Are Stored in Human MII Oocyte and Their Expression Profile Changes in Reproductive Aging. Battaglia R, Vento ME, Ragusa M, Barbagallo D, La Ferlita A, Di Emidio G, Borzí P, Artini PG, Scollo P, Tatone C, Purrello M, Di Pietro C. Biol Reprod. 2016 Dec;95(6):131. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.116.142711. PMID: 28007692
  3. Altered expression of miRNAs and methylation of their promoters are correlated in neuroblastoma. Maugeri M, Barbagallo D, Barbagallo C, Banelli B, Di Mauro S, Purrello F, Magro G, Ragusa M, Di Pietro C, Romani M, Purrello M.Oncotarget. 2016 Dec 13;7(50):83330-83341. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.13090.PMID: 27829219
  4. Epigenetic dysregulation in neuroblastoma: A tale of miRNAs and DNA methylation.
    Parodi F, Carosio R, Ragusa M, Di Pietro C, Maugeri M, Barbagallo D, Sallustio F, Allemanni G, Pistillo MP, Casciano I, Forlani A, Schena FP, Purrello M, Romani M, Banelli B. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016 Dec;1859(12):1502-1514. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2016.10.006. PMID: 27751904
  5. Intracellular and extracellular miRNome deregulation in cellular models of NAFLD or NASH: clinical implications. Di Mauro S, Ragusa M, Urbano F, Filippello A, Di Pino A, Scamporrino A, Pulvirenti A, Ferro A, Rabuazzo AM, Purrello M, Purrello F, Piro S. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2016 Dec;26(12):1129-1139. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2016.08.004. PMID: 27756518
  6. miRNAs Plasma Profiles in Vascular Dementia: Biomolecular Data and Biomedical Implications. Ragusa M, Bosco P, Tamburello L, Barbagallo C, Condorelli AG, Tornitore M, Spada RS, Barbagallo D, Scalia M, Elia M, Di Pietro C, Purrello M. Front Cell Neurosci. 2016 Mar 1;10:51. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2016.00051. PMID: 2697346
  7. Dysregulated miR-671-5p / CDR1-AS / CDR1 / VSNL1 axis is involved in glioblastoma multiforme. Barbagallo D, Condorelli A, Ragusa M, Salito L, Sammito M, Banelli B, Caltabiano R, Barbagallo G, Zappalà A, Battaglia R, Cirnigliaro M, Lanzafame S, Vasquez E, Parenti R, Cicirata F, Di Pietro C, Romani M, Purrello M. Oncotarget. 2016 Jan 26;7(4):4746-59. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.6621. PMID: 26683098
  8. Non-coding landscapes of colorectal cancer.Ragusa M, Barbagallo C, Statello L, Condorelli AG, Battaglia R, Tamburello L, Barbagallo D, Di Pietro C, Purrello M. World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Nov 7;21(41):11709-39. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i41.11709. Review. PMID: 26556998
  9. Circulating miRNAs profiles in Tourette syndrome: molecular data and clinical implications. Rizzo R, Ragusa M, Barbagallo C, Sammito M, Gulisano M, Calì PV, Pappalardo C, Barchitta M, Granata M, Condorelli AG, Barbagallo D, Scalia M, Agodi A, Di Pietro C, Purrello M. Mol Brain. 2015 Jul 25;8:44. doi: 10.1186/s13041-015-0133-y. PMID: 26205656
  10. miRNA profiling in vitreous humor, vitreal exosomes and serum from uveal melanoma patients: Pathological and diagnostic implications. Ragusa M, Barbagallo C, Statello L, Caltabiano R, Russo A, Puzzo L, Avitabile T, Longo A, Toro MD, Barbagallo D, Valadi H, Di Pietro C, Purrello M, Reibaldi M. Cancer Biol Ther. 2015;16(9):1387-96. doi: 10.1080/15384047.2015.1046021. PMID: 25951497