Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Innovative, more stringent diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and effective treatment options are needed to lessen its burden. In recent years, microRNAs have emerged as master regulators of gene expression – they bind to complementary sequences within the mRNAs of their target genes and inhibit their expression by either mRNA degradation or translational repression. microRNAs have been implicated in all major cellular processes, including cell cycle, differentiation and metabolism. Their unique mode of action, fine-tuning gene expression rather than turning genes on/off, and their ability to simultaneously regulate multiple elements of relevant pathways makes them enticing potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Indeed, cardiovascular patients have specific patterns of circulating microRNA levels, often early in the disease process. This article provides a systematic overview of the role of microRNAs in the pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of CVD.
- cardiovascular disease
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