Missing links in cardiology: long non-coding RNAs enter the arena
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- Peters, T. & Schroen, B. Pflugers Arch - Eur J Physiol (2014) 466: 1177. doi:10.1007/s00424-014-1479-1
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Heart failure as a consequence of ischemic, hypertensive, infectious, or hereditary heart disease is a major challenge in cardiology and topic of intense research. Recently, new players appeared in this field and promise deeper insights into cardiac development, function, and disease. Long non-coding RNAs are a novel class of transcripts that can regulate gene expression and may have many more functions inside the cell. Here, we present examples on long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) function in cardiac development and give suggestions on how lncRNAs may be involved in cardiomyocyte dysfunction, myocardial fibrosis, and inflammation, three hallmarks of the failing heart. Above that, we point out opportunities as well as challenges that should be considered in the endeavor to investigate cardiac lncRNAs.