Highlighting the interplay of microRNAs from Leishmania parasites and infected-host cells
Leishmania parasites, the causative agents of leishmaniasis, are protozoan parasites with the ability to modify the signalling pathway and cell responses of their infected host cells. These parasite strategies alter the host cell environment and conditions favouring their replication, survival and pathogenesis. Since microRNAs (miRNAs) are able to post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression processes, these biomolecules can exert critical roles in controlling Leishmania-host cell interplay. Therefore, the identification of relevant miRNAs differentially expressed in Leishmania parasites as well as in infected cells, which affect the host fitness, could be critical to understand the infection biology, pathogenicity and immune response against these parasites. Accordingly, the current review aims to address the differentially expressed miRNAs in both, the parasite and infected host cells and how these biomolecules change cell signalling and host immune responses during infection. A deep understanding of these processes could provide novel guidelines and therapeutic strategies for managing and treating leishmaniasis.