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Cardiovasc Res. 2011 Mar 1;89(4):710-21. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvq350. Epub 2010 Nov 4.

MicroRNAs and atrial fibrillation: new fundamentals.

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Research Center, Montreal Heart Institute, 5000 Belanger East, Montreal, Canada PQ H1T 1C8.


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most commonly encountered clinical arrhythmia associated with pronounced morbidity, mortality, and socio-economic burden. This pathological entity is associated with an altered expression profile of genes that are important for atrial function. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a new class of non-coding mRNAs of around 22 nucleotides in length, have rapidly emerged as one of the key players in the gene expression regulatory network. The potential roles of miRNAs in controlling AF have recently been investigated. The studies have provided some promising results for our better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of AF. In this review article, we provide a synopsis of the studies linking miRNAs to cardiac excitability and other processes pertinent to AF. To introduce the main topic, we discuss basic knowledge about miRNA biology and our current understanding of mechanisms for AF. The most up-to-date research data on the possible roles of miRNAs in AF initiation and maintenance are presented, and the available experimental results on miRNA and AF are discussed. Some speculations pertinent to the subject are made. Finally, perspectives on future directions of research on miRNAs in AF are provided.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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