The Role of miR-29 Family in TGF-β Driven Fibrosis in Glaucomatous Optic Neuropathy

Aoife Smyth, Breedge Callaghan, Colin E. Willoughby, Colm O’Brien, Neil R. Miller (Editor), Rongkung Tsai (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), a chronic optic neuropathy, remains the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. It is driven in part by the pro-fibrotic cytokine transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) and leads to extracellular matrix remodelling at the lamina cribrosa of the optic nerve head. Despite an array of medical and surgical treatments targeting the only known modifiable risk factor, raised intraocular pressure, many patients still progress and develop significant visual field loss and eventual blindness. The search for alternative treatment strategies targeting the underlying fibrotic transformation in the optic nerve head and trabecular meshwork in glaucoma is ongoing. MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs known to regulate post-transcriptional gene expression. Extensive research has been undertaken to uncover the complex role of miRNAs in gene expression and miRNA dysregulation in fibrotic disease. MiR-29 is a family of miRNAs which are strongly anti-fibrotic in their effects on the TGF-β signalling pathway and the regulation of extracellular matrix production and deposition. In this review, we discuss the anti-fibrotic effects of miR-29 and the role of miR-29 in ocular pathology and in the development of glaucomatous optic neuropathy. A better understanding of the role of miR-29 in POAG may aid in developing diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in glaucoma.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10216
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number18
Early online date6 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 6 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
AS and COB have received no financial support for this study. BC and CEW were funded by Fight for Sight (UK) and Glaucoma (UK).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • Review
  • glaucoma
  • glaucomatous optic neuropathy
  • fibrosis
  • miR-29
  • extracellular matrix


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