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J Mol Med (Berl). 2012 Aug;90(8):865-75. doi: 10.1007/s00109-011-0840-5. Epub 2011 Dec 8.

Circulating microRNAs: novel biomarkers for cardiovascular diseases.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, 200065, Shanghai, China.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a novel class of small, non-coding, single-stranded RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression via translational inhibition or mRNA degradation followed by protein synthesis repression. Many miRNAs are expressed in a tissue- and/or cell-specific manner and their expression patterns are reflective of underlying patho-physiologic processes. miRNAs can be detected in serum or in plasma in a remarkably stable form, making them attractive biomarkers for human diseases. This review describes the progress of identifying circulating miRNAs as novel biomarkers for diverse cardiovascular diseases, including acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, coronary artery disease, diabetes, stroke, essential hypertension, and acute pulmonary embolism. In addition, the origin and function and the different strategies to identify circulating miRNAs as novel biomarkers for cardiovascular diseases are also discussed. Rarely has an opportunity arisen to advance such new biology for the diagnosis of cardiac diseases.

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