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Our mission

MirNat’s mission is to bridge the gap between traditional and modern medicine through a scientific approach that uses extensive in vitro and in vivo studies. For the first time, bioinformatics is used to select plant microRNAs with a valuable nutritional support for prevention and treatment of several diseases. More importantly, bioinformatics provides a precious tool for identification of potential molecular mechanisms underlying genetic cross-kingdom regulation, which are subsequently explored using traditional molecular approaches.

An 100% natural therapeutic strategy

MiRNAs dysregulation is frequently associated with human diseases suggesting their potential as targets for the development of novel therapies for several diseases. 

Medicinal plants in the Mediterranean area has been used to treat diseases for centuries. Oral consumption of a plant-based diet may lead to the cross-kingdom transfer of plant-derived miRNAs in mammals. 

Different studies provide evidence that miRNAs might act as new bioactive compounds in medicinal plants. Plant extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes and shed micro-vesicles, are key mediators of cell–cell communication. Exosomes, which are one of the smallest EVs released from cells, have been shown to carry different nucleic acids, including plant miRNAs

Our technology involves the development of engineered extracellular vesicles containing selected plant miRNAs from medicinal plants with anti-inflammatory action. Due to the poor bioavailability of plant miRNAs ingested by diet in the intestinal tract, we developed a drug aerosolization administration of EVs containing miRNAs with nutraceutical properties for the treatment of inflammatory diseases (including pulmonary diseases). 

The aerosolization process are the most common type of device, because they are portable, easy to use and widely available and represents a promising therapeutic strategy and a potentially useful alternative to the current treatment for inflammatory and chronic disease.

We develop new approaches of analysis

Based on the strong evidence that plant miRNAs inside mammalian cells use the endogenous machinery for post-transcriptional regulation of target genes, we developed MirCompare, an innovative model that predict plant microRNAs with a regulatory, active role in mammalian cells. MirCompare is integrated in a fast and user-friendly interface and is publicly available here. If you want to read the peer-reviewed publication, here you can find our manuscript.

The growth of interest on microRNAs and the increasing amount of literature, molecular and biomedical data, make difficult to identify records of interest as well as keep up to date with the novel findings. For these reasons we developed MAP, the microRNAs Analysis Portal.

MAP selects miRNA-focused relevant articles from PubMed, links biomedical and molecular data and applies bioinformatics modules. Currently MAP represents the most rich, complete and integrated database focused on microRNAs.