Role of microRNAs in the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis and their potential clinical use

Authors: Jan Novák 1,2;  Miroslav Souček 1
Authors‘ workplace: II. interní klinika LF MU a FN U sv. Anny v Brně 1;  Fyziologický ústav LF MU, Brno 2
Published in: AtheroRev 2016; 1(3): 144-150
Category: Reviews


Atherosclerosis and its clinical manifestations (such as myocardial infarction or stroke) still remain the leading cause of death in developed countries. In recent decades our knowledge about the origin of atherosclerosis has considerably advanced; key molecules and signalling cascades involved in this complex process have been described, which enabled the development of effective therapeutic procedures that can moderate the effects of atherosclerosis on an individual's health. The discovery of non-coding RNAs (ncRNA) which participate in the regulation of gene expression and are involved in almost all the processes in the body, has revealed yet another level of complexity, it offers a new insight into the regulation of individual processes and, not least, also new procedures utilizable in diagnostics or therapy for atherosclerosis. This overview presents essential information about the function of microRNA, one of the ncRNA groups, and further discusses their involvement in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. The last part of the text provides an overview of possible uses of circulating microRNAs in diagnosing atherosclerosis and uses the results of animal as well as pilot human studies to also demonstrate the therapeutic potential which is hidden in these small molecules.

Key words:
circulating microRNA – diagnosing atherosclerosis – ncRNA – therapy for atherosclerosis


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