MicroRNAs in Cardiovascular Diseases: Biology and Potential Clinical Applications
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- Kartha, R.V. & Subramanian, S. J. of Cardiovasc. Trans. Res. (2010) 3: 256. doi:10.1007/s12265-010-9172-z
Cardiovascular diseases represent one of the major causes for increasing rates of human morbidity and mortality across the world. This reinforces the necessity for the development of novel diagnostics and therapies for the early identification and cure of heart diseases. MicroRNAs are evolutionarily conserved small regulatory non-coding RNAs that regulate the expression of large number of genes. They are involved in several cellular pathophysiological pathways and have been shown to play a significant role in the pathogenesis of many disease states. Recent studies have correlated dysregulated miRNA expressions to diseased hearts and also shown the relevance of miRNA in growth, development, function, and stress responsiveness of the heart. The possibility of exploiting miRNAs to develop diagnostic markers or manipulating them to obtain therapeutic effects is very attractive since they have very specific targets in a particular cellular pathway. In this review we will summarize the role played by miRNAs in the heart and discuss the scope of utilizing miRNA-based strategies in the clinics for the benefit of mankind.