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Cells 2014, 3(4), 996-1026; doi:10.3390/cells3040996

Regulation of Cardiac Cell Fate by microRNAs: Implications for Heart Regeneration

1
Center for Biodiversity, Functional and Integrative Genomics, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
2
Centro de Cardiologia da Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Medicina de Lisboa, 1649-035 Lisboa, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 July 2014 / Revised: 29 September 2014 / Accepted: 10 October 2014 / Published: 29 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MicroRNAs in Cardiovascular Biology and Disease)
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Abstract

microRNAs are post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression that have been shown to be central players in the establishment of cellular programs, often acting as switches that control the choice between proliferation and differentiation during development and in adult tissues. The heart develops from two small patches of cells in the mesoderm, the heart fields, which originate the different cardiac cell types, including cardiomyocytes, vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells. These progenitors proliferate and differentiate to establish a highly connected three-dimensional structure, involving a robust succession of gene expression programs strongly influenced by microRNAs. Although the mammalian heart has conventionally been viewed as a post-mitotic organ, cardiac cells have recently been shown to display some regenerative potential, which is nonetheless insufficient to regenerate heart lesions, in contrast with other vertebrates like the zebrafish. Both the proliferation of adult cardiac stem cells and the ability of cardiomyocytes to re-enter the cell cycle have been proposed to sustain these regenerative processes. Here we review the role of microRNAs in the control of stem cell and cardiomyocyte dependent cardiac regeneration processes, and discuss potential applications for the treatment of cardiac injury. View Full-Text
Keywords: microRNAs; gene regulation; cell differentiation; cardiac regeneration microRNAs; gene regulation; cell differentiation; cardiac regeneration
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Gama-Carvalho, M.; Andrade, J.; Brás-Rosário, L. Regulation of Cardiac Cell Fate by microRNAs: Implications for Heart Regeneration. Cells 2014, 3, 996-1026.

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