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IUBMB Life. 2009 Jun;61(6):566-71. doi: 10.1002/iub.204.

Role of microRNAs in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.

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Key Laboratory of Industrial Microbiology, Ministry of Education, Tianjin, China.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of endogenous, highly conserved, small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. Recent studies have demonstrated that miRNAs are aberrantly expressed in the cardiovascular system. The implications of miRNAs in cardiovascular disease have recently been recognized, representing the most rapidly evolving research field. Gain- and loss-of-function studies in mice models have identified distinct roles for specific miRNAs during cardiac hypertrophy, heart failing, and myocardial infarction. In the present article, the currently relevant findings on the role of miRNAs in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure will be summarized and the target genes and signaling pathways linking these miRNAs will be discussed. Furthermore, we focus on the use of miRNA mimics and antagonists (antagomirs) as tools for disease therapy in the cardiovascular system in the future. Taken together, the recent studies showed that miRNAs are key regulators of gene expression in cardiovascular biology and suggested the potential importance of miRNAs as diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets for cardiovascular disease.

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