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Special Issue "RNAs in Cardiovascular Diseases-CardioRNA EU COST Action"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 November 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Carlo Gaetano
Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Epigenetics, Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri, Pavia, Italy
Interests: epigenetics; cardiovascular disease; gene expression; DNA methylation; histone modification
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Fabio Martelli
Website
Guest Editor
Molecular Cardiology Laboratory, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, San Donato Milanese MI, Italy
Interests: long noncoding RNAs; microRNAs; circular RNAs; hypoxia; oxidative stress; ischemia; heart failure; angiogenesis; β-amyloid

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The COST action-catalyzing transcriptomics research in cardiovascular disease (CVD) aims to create an interdisciplinary network to accelerate the understanding of transcriptomics in CVD and further the translation of experimental data into usable applications to improve personalized medicine in this field. CVD remains the leading cause of death worldwide and, despite continuous advances, better diagnostic and prognostic tools, as well as therapy, are needed. The human transcriptome, which is the set of all RNA produced in a cell, is much more complex than previously thought, and the lack of dialogue between researchers and industry and consensus on guidelines to generate data make it harder to compare and reproduce results. There is, in fact, still little opportunity to address the complexity of transcriptomics in CVD. This editorial initiative aims to create a forum bringing together contributions from scientists interested in investigating the properties and the impact of different RNAs on cardiovascular function and their interactions to be deciphered in the cardiovascular context for translation into the clinic.

Prof. Dr. Carlo Gaetano
Prof. Dr. Fabio Martelli
Dr. Yvan Devaux
Guest Editors

https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA17129/#tabs|Name:overview

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Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • RNA
  • DNA
  • Transcription
  • Methylation
  • Cardiovascular
  • Epigenetics
  • Noncoding RNA
  • Heart failure
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic disease
  • Senescence
  • Aging

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Cardiac miRNA Expression and their mRNA Targets in a Rat Model of Prediabetes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(6), 2128; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21062128 - 20 Mar 2020
Abstract
Little is known about the mechanism of prediabetes-induced cardiac dysfunction. Therefore, we aimed to explore key molecular changes with transcriptomic and bioinformatics approaches in a prediabetes model showing heart failure with preserved ejection fraction phenotype. To induce prediabetes, Long-Evans rats were fed a [...] Read more.
Little is known about the mechanism of prediabetes-induced cardiac dysfunction. Therefore, we aimed to explore key molecular changes with transcriptomic and bioinformatics approaches in a prediabetes model showing heart failure with preserved ejection fraction phenotype. To induce prediabetes, Long-Evans rats were fed a high-fat diet for 21 weeks and treated with a single low-dose streptozotocin at week 4. Small RNA-sequencing, in silico microRNA (miRNA)-mRNA target prediction, Gene Ontology analysis, and target validation with qRT-PCR were performed in left ventricle samples. From the miRBase-annotated 752 mature miRNA sequences expression of 356 miRNAs was detectable. We identified two upregulated and three downregulated miRNAs in the prediabetic group. We predicted 445 mRNA targets of the five differentially expressed miRNAs and selected 11 mRNAs targeted by three differentially expressed miRNAs, out of which five mRNAs were selected for validation. Out of these five targets, downregulation of three mRNAs i.e., Juxtaposed with another zinc finger protein 1 (Jazf1); RAP2C, member of RAS oncogene family (Rap2c); and Zinc finger with KRAB and SCAN domains 1 (Zkscan1) were validated. This is the first demonstration that prediabetes alters cardiac miRNA expression profile. Predicted targets of differentially expressed miRNAs include Jazf1, Zkscan1, and Rap2c mRNAs. These transcriptomic changes may contribute to the diastolic dysfunction and may serve as drug targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs in Cardiovascular Diseases-CardioRNA EU COST Action)
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Open AccessArticle
MicroRNA-24-3p Targets Notch and Other Vascular Morphogens to Regulate Post-ischemic Microvascular Responses in Limb Muscles
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(5), 1733; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21051733 - 03 Mar 2020
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRs) regulate complex processes, including angiogenesis, by targeting multiple mRNAs. miR-24-3p-3p directly represses eNOS, GATA2, and PAK4 in endothelial cells (ECs), thus inhibiting angiogenesis during development and in the infarcted heart. miR-24-3p is widely expressed in cardiovascular cells, suggesting that it could [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRs) regulate complex processes, including angiogenesis, by targeting multiple mRNAs. miR-24-3p-3p directly represses eNOS, GATA2, and PAK4 in endothelial cells (ECs), thus inhibiting angiogenesis during development and in the infarcted heart. miR-24-3p is widely expressed in cardiovascular cells, suggesting that it could additionally regulate angiogenesis by acting on vascular mural cells. Here, we have investigated: (1) new miR-24-3p targets; (2) the expression and the function of miR-24-3p in human vascular ECs; (3) the impact of miR-24-3p inhibition in the angiogenesis reparative response to limb ischemia in mice. Using bioinformatics target prediction platforms and 3′-UTR luciferase assays, we newly identified Notch1 and its Delta-like ligand 1 (Dll1) to be directly targeted by miR-24-3p. miR-24-3p was expressed in human ECs and pericytes cultured under normal conditions. Exposure to hypoxia increased miR-24-3p in ECs but not in pericytes. Transfection with a miR-24-3p precursor (pre-miR-24-3p) increased miR-24-3p expression in ECs, reducing the cell survival, proliferation, and angiogenic capacity. Opposite effects were caused by miR-24-3p inhibition. The anti-angiogenic action of miR-24-3p overexpression could be prevented by simultaneous adenovirus (Ad)-mediated delivery of constitutively active Notch intracellular domain (NICD) into cultured ECs. We next demonstrated that reduced Notch signalling contributes to the anti-angiogenic effect of miR-24-3p in vitro. In a mouse unilateral limb ischemia model, local miR-24-3p inhibition (by adenovirus-mediated miR-24-3p decoy delivery) restored endothelial Notch signalling and increased capillary density. However, the new vessels appeared disorganised and twisted, worsening post-ischemic blood perfusion recovery. To better understand the underpinning mechanisms, we widened the search for miR-24-3p target genes, identifying several contributors to vascular morphogenesis, such as several members of the Wingless (Wnt) signalling pathway, β-catenin signalling components, and VE-cadherin, which synergise to regulate angiogenesis, pericytes recruitment to neoformed capillaries, maturation, and stabilization of newly formed vessels. Among those, we next focussed on β-catenin to demonstrate that miR-24-3p inhibition reduces β-catenin expression in hypoxic ECs, which is accompanied by reduced adhesion of pericytes to ECs. In summary, miR-24-3p differentially targets several angiogenesis modulators and contributes to autonomous and non-autonomous EC crosstalk. In ischemic limbs, miR-24-3p inhibition increases the production of dysfunctional microvessels, impairing perfusion. Caution should be observed in therapeutic targeting of miR-24-3p. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs in Cardiovascular Diseases-CardioRNA EU COST Action)
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Open AccessArticle
Hypoxia-Induced miR-210 Is Necessary for Vascular Regeneration upon Acute Limb Ischemia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(1), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21010129 - 24 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Critical limb ischemia is the most serious form of peripheral artery disease, characterized by severe functional consequences, difficult clinical management and reduced life expectancy. The goal of this study was to investigate the miR-210 role in the neo-angiogenic response after acute limb ischemia. [...] Read more.
Critical limb ischemia is the most serious form of peripheral artery disease, characterized by severe functional consequences, difficult clinical management and reduced life expectancy. The goal of this study was to investigate the miR-210 role in the neo-angiogenic response after acute limb ischemia. Complementary approaches were used in a mouse model of hindlimb ischemia: miR-210 loss-of-function was obtained by administration of LNA-oligonucleotides anti-miR-210; for miR-210 gain-of-function, a doxycycline-inducible miR-210 transgenic mouse was used. We tested miR-210 ability to stimulate vascular regeneration following ischemia. We found that miR-210 was necessary and sufficient to stimulate blood perfusion recovery, as well as arteriolar and capillary density increase, in the ischemic muscle. To clarify the molecular events underpinning miR-210 pro-angiogenic action, the transcriptomic changes in ischemic muscles upon miR-210 blocking were analyzed. We found that miR-210 impacted the transcriptome significantly, regulating pathways and functions linked to vascular regeneration. In agreement with a pro-angiogenic role, miR-210 also improved cardiac function and left ventricular remodeling after myocardial infarction. Moreover, miR-210 blocking decreased capillary density in a Matrigel plug assay, indicating that miR-210 is necessary for angiogenesis independently of ischemia. Collectively, these data indicate that miR-210 plays a pivotal role in promoting vascular regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs in Cardiovascular Diseases-CardioRNA EU COST Action)
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Open AccessArticle
MicroRNA-204 Deficiency in Human Aortic Valves Elevates Valvular Osteogenic Activity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(1), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21010076 - 20 Dec 2019
Abstract
Aortic valve interstitial cells (AVICs) play a major role in valvular calcification associated with calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD). Although AVICs from diseased valves display a pro-osteogenic phenotype, the underlying mechanism causing this remains unclear. MicroRNA-204 (miR-204) is a negative regulator of osteoblast [...] Read more.
Aortic valve interstitial cells (AVICs) play a major role in valvular calcification associated with calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD). Although AVICs from diseased valves display a pro-osteogenic phenotype, the underlying mechanism causing this remains unclear. MicroRNA-204 (miR-204) is a negative regulator of osteoblast differentiation. We sought to analyze miR-204 expression in diseased human aortic valves and determine the role of this miR in AVIC osteogenic activity associated with CAVD pathobiology. In situ hybridization and PCR analysis revealed miR-204 deficiency in diseased valves and in AVICs from diseased valves. MiR-204 mimic suppressed alkaline phosphatase (ALP) expression and calcium deposition in AVICs from diseased valves. MiR-204 antagomir enhanced ALP expression in AVICs from normal valves through induction of Runx2 and Osx, and expression of miR-204 antagomir in mouse aortic valves promoted calcium deposition through up-regulation of Runx2 and Osx. Further, miR-204 mimic suppressed the osteogenic responses to TGF-β1 in AVICs of normal valves. In conclusion, miR-204 deficiency contributes to the mechanism underlying elevated osteogenic activity in diseased aortic valves, and miR-204 is capable of reversing the pro-osteogenic phenotype of AVICs of diseased valves and suppressing AVIC osteogenic response to stimulation. Exogenous miR-204 may have therapeutic potential for inhibiting valvular calcification associated with CAVD progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs in Cardiovascular Diseases-CardioRNA EU COST Action)
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Open AccessArticle
Plasma Levels of snoRNAs are Associated with Platelet Activation in Patients with Peripheral Artery Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(23), 5975; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20235975 - 27 Nov 2019
Abstract
In addition to supervised walking therapy, antithrombotic therapy and the management of risk factors, the treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD) is limited to endovascular and surgical interventions, i.e., angioplasty with stent implantation and bypass surgery, respectively. Both are associated with a high [...] Read more.
In addition to supervised walking therapy, antithrombotic therapy and the management of risk factors, the treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD) is limited to endovascular and surgical interventions, i.e., angioplasty with stent implantation and bypass surgery, respectively. Both are associated with a high restenosis rate. Furthermore, patients with PAD often suffer atherothrombotic events like myocardial infarction, transient ischemic attacks or stroke. Small ribonucleic acids (RNAs) have proven reliable biomarkers because of their remarkable stability. Small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) guide modifications to small nuclear RNAs and ribosomal RNAs, enabling protein synthesis. In the current study, we measured four snoRNAs in 104 consecutive PAD patients who underwent elective infrainguinal angioplasty with stent implantation. We selected snoRNAs that showed significant overexpression in the plasma of end-stage PAD patients in a previous study. All four snoRNAs are transcribed from the 14q32 locus, which is strongly linked to human cardiovascular disease, including PAD and restenosis. We showed that the four selected 14q32 snoRNAs were abundantly expressed in the plasma of PAD patients. The plasma levels of these snoRNAs were not directly associated with target vessel restenosis, however, levels of SNORD113.2 and SNORD114.1 were strongly linked to platelet activation, which is an important determinant of long-term outcome, in PAD, and in cardiovascular disease in general. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs in Cardiovascular Diseases-CardioRNA EU COST Action)
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Open AccessArticle
Let-7f: A New Potential Circulating Biomarker Identified by miRNA Profiling of Cells Isolated from Human Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(21), 5499; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20215499 - 05 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a progressive vascular disease responsible for 1–4% of the deaths in elderly men. This study aimed to characterize specific microRNA (miRNA) expression in aneurysmal smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and macrophages in order to identify circulating miRNAs associated with [...] Read more.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a progressive vascular disease responsible for 1–4% of the deaths in elderly men. This study aimed to characterize specific microRNA (miRNA) expression in aneurysmal smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and macrophages in order to identify circulating miRNAs associated with AAA. We screened 850 miRNAs in aneurysmal SMCs, M1 and M2 macrophages, and in control SMCs isolated by micro-dissection from aortic biopsies using microarray analysis. In all, 92 miRNAs were detected and 10 miRNAs were selected for validation by qRT-PCR in isolated cells (n = 5), whole control and aneurysmal aorta biopsies (n = 13), and plasma from patients (n = 24) undergoing AAA (over 50 mm) repair matched to patients (n = 18) with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) with atherosclerosis but not AAA. Seven miRNAs were modulated similarly in all aneurysmal cells. The Let-7f was downregulated in aneurysmal cells compared to control SMCs with a significant lower expression in M1 compared to M2 macrophages (0.1 fold, p = 0.03), correlated with a significant downregulation in whole aneurysmal aorta compared to control aorta (0.2 fold, p = 0.03). Significant levels of circulating let-7f (p = 0.048) were found in AAA patients compared to PAD patients with no significant correlation with aortic diameter (R2 = 0.03). Our study underlines the utility of profiling isolated aneurysmal cells to identify other miRNAs for which the modulation of expression might be masked when the whole aorta is used. The results highlight let-7f as a new potential biomarker for AAA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs in Cardiovascular Diseases-CardioRNA EU COST Action)
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Open AccessArticle
MiR-574-5p: A Circulating Marker of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 3924; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20163924 - 12 Aug 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) can lead to fatal complications such as aortic dissection. Since aneurysm dimension poorly predicts dissection risk, microRNAs (miRNAs) may be useful to diagnose or risk stratify TAA patients. We aim to identify miRNAs associated with TAA pathogenesis and that [...] Read more.
Thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) can lead to fatal complications such as aortic dissection. Since aneurysm dimension poorly predicts dissection risk, microRNAs (miRNAs) may be useful to diagnose or risk stratify TAA patients. We aim to identify miRNAs associated with TAA pathogenesis and that are possibly able to improve TAA diagnosis. MiRNA microarray experiments of aortic media tissue samples from 19 TAA patients and 19 controls allowed identifying 232 differentially expressed miRNAs. Using interaction networks between these miRNAs and 690 genes associated with TAA, we identified miR-574-5p as a potential contributor of TAA pathogenesis. Interestingly, miR-574-5p was significantly down-regulated in the TAA tissue compared to the controls, but was up-regulated in serum samples from a separate group of 28 TAA patients compared to 20 controls (p < 0.001). MiR-574-5p serum levels discriminated TAA patients from controls with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.87. In the Fbn1C1041G/+ mouse model, miR-574-5p was down-regulated in aortic tissue compared to wild-type (p < 0.05), and up-regulated in plasma extracellular vesicles from Fbn1C1041G/+ mice compared to wild-type mice (p < 0.05). Furthermore, in vascular smooth muscle cells, angiotensin II appears to induce miR-574-5p secretion in extracellular vesicles. In conclusion, miR-574-5p is associated with TAA pathogenesis and may help in diagnosing this disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs in Cardiovascular Diseases-CardioRNA EU COST Action)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Regulatory Mechanisms of Mitochondrial Function and Cardiac Aging
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(4), 1359; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21041359 - 18 Feb 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Aging is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), the major cause of death worldwide. Cardiac myocytes, which hold the most abundant mitochondrial population, are terminally differentiated cells with diminished regenerative capacity in the adult. Cardiomyocyte mitochondrial dysfunction is a characteristic feature [...] Read more.
Aging is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), the major cause of death worldwide. Cardiac myocytes, which hold the most abundant mitochondrial population, are terminally differentiated cells with diminished regenerative capacity in the adult. Cardiomyocyte mitochondrial dysfunction is a characteristic feature of the aging heart and one out of the nine features of cellular aging. Aging and cardiac pathologies are also associated with increased senescence in the heart. However, the cause and consequences of cardiac senescence during aging or in cardiac pathologies are mostly unrecognized. Further, despite recent advancement in anti-senescence therapy, the targeted cell type and the effect on cardiac structure and function have been largely overlooked. The unique cellular composition of the heart, and especially the functional properties of cardiomyocytes, need to be considered when designing therapeutics to target cardiac aging. Here we review recent findings regarding key factors regulating cell senescence, mitochondrial health as well as cardiomyocyte rejuvenation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs in Cardiovascular Diseases-CardioRNA EU COST Action)
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Open AccessReview
RNA Splicing Defects in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: Implications for Diagnosis and Therapy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(4), 1329; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21041329 - 16 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), the most common inherited heart disease, is predominantly caused by mutations in genes that encode sarcomere-associated proteins. Effective gene-based diagnosis is critical for the accurate clinical management of patients and their family members. However, the introduction of high-throughput DNA sequencing [...] Read more.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), the most common inherited heart disease, is predominantly caused by mutations in genes that encode sarcomere-associated proteins. Effective gene-based diagnosis is critical for the accurate clinical management of patients and their family members. However, the introduction of high-throughput DNA sequencing approaches for clinical diagnostics has vastly expanded the number of variants of uncertain significance, leading to many inconclusive results that limit the clinical utility of genetic testing. More recently, developments in RNA analysis have been improving diagnostic outcomes by identifying new variants that interfere with splicing. This review summarizes recent discoveries of RNA mis-splicing in HCM and provides an overview of research that aims to apply the concept of RNA therapeutics to HCM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs in Cardiovascular Diseases-CardioRNA EU COST Action)
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Open AccessReview
Potential Clinical Implications of miR-1 and miR-21 in Heart Disease and Cardioprotection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(3), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21030700 - 21 Jan 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
The interest in non-coding RNAs, which started more than a decade ago, has still not weakened. A wealth of experimental and clinical studies has suggested the potential of non-coding RNAs, especially the short-sized microRNAs (miRs), to be used as the new generation of [...] Read more.
The interest in non-coding RNAs, which started more than a decade ago, has still not weakened. A wealth of experimental and clinical studies has suggested the potential of non-coding RNAs, especially the short-sized microRNAs (miRs), to be used as the new generation of therapeutic targets and biomarkers of cardiovascular disease, an ever-growing public health issue in the modern world. Among the hundreds of miRs characterized so far, microRNA-1 (miR-1) and microRNA-21 (miR-21) have received some attention and have been associated with cardiac injury and cardioprotection. In this review article, we summarize the current knowledge of the function of these two miRs in the heart, their association with cardiac injury, and their potential cardioprotective roles and biomarker value. While this field has already been extensively studied, much remains to be done before research findings can be translated into clinical application for patient’s benefit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs in Cardiovascular Diseases-CardioRNA EU COST Action)
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Open AccessReview
Challenges in Using Circulating Micro-RNAs as Biomarkers for Cardiovascular Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(2), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020561 - 15 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) play a pivotal role in the development and physiology of the cardiovascular system while they have been associated with multiple cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Several cardiac miRNAs are detectable in circulation (circulating miRNAs; c-miRNAs) and are emerging as diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers [...] Read more.
Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) play a pivotal role in the development and physiology of the cardiovascular system while they have been associated with multiple cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Several cardiac miRNAs are detectable in circulation (circulating miRNAs; c-miRNAs) and are emerging as diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers for CVDs. c-miRNAs exhibit numerous essential characteristics of biomarkers while they are extremely stable in circulation, their expression is tissue-/disease-specific, and they can be easily detected using sequence-specific amplification methods. These features of c-miRNAs are helpful in the development of non-invasive assays to monitor the progress of CVDs. Despite significant progress in the detection of c-miRNAs in serum and plasma, there are many contradictory publications on the alterations of cardiac c-miRNAs concentration in circulation. The aim of this review is to examine the pre-analytical and analytical factors affecting the quantification of c-miRNAs and provide general guidelines to increase the accuracy of the diagnostic tests in order to improve future research on cardiac c-miRNAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs in Cardiovascular Diseases-CardioRNA EU COST Action)
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Open AccessReview
Circular RNA-Centered Regulatory Networks in the Physiopathology of Cardiovascular Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(2), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020456 - 10 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Non-coding regulatory RNAs are generated as a core output of the eukaryotic genomes, being essential players in cell biology. At the organism level, they are key functional actors in those tissues and organs with limited proliferation capabilities such as the heart. The role [...] Read more.
Non-coding regulatory RNAs are generated as a core output of the eukaryotic genomes, being essential players in cell biology. At the organism level, they are key functional actors in those tissues and organs with limited proliferation capabilities such as the heart. The role of regulatory networks mediated by non-coding RNAs in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular conditions is starting to be unveiled. However, a deeper knowledge of the functional interactions among the diverse non-coding RNA families and their phenotypic consequences is required. This review presents the current knowledge about the functional crosstalk between circRNAs and other biomolecules in the framework of the cardiovascular diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs in Cardiovascular Diseases-CardioRNA EU COST Action)
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Open AccessReview
Cell-Based Mechanosensation, Epigenetics, and Non-Coding RNAs in Progression of Cardiac Fibrosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21010028 - 19 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The heart is par excellence the ‘in-motion’ organ in the human body. Compelling evidence shows that, besides generating forces to ensure continuous blood supply (e.g., myocardial contractility) or withstanding passive forces generated by flow (e.g., shear stress on endocardium, myocardial wall strain, and [...] Read more.
The heart is par excellence the ‘in-motion’ organ in the human body. Compelling evidence shows that, besides generating forces to ensure continuous blood supply (e.g., myocardial contractility) or withstanding passive forces generated by flow (e.g., shear stress on endocardium, myocardial wall strain, and compression strain at the level of cardiac valves), cells resident in the heart respond to mechanical cues with the activation of mechanically dependent molecular pathways. Cardiac stromal cells, most commonly named cardiac fibroblasts, are central in the pathologic evolution of the cardiovascular system. In their normal function, these cells translate mechanical cues into signals that are necessary to renew the tissues, e.g., by continuously rebuilding the extracellular matrix being subjected to mechanical stress. In the presence of tissue insults (e.g., ischemia), inflammatory cues, or modifiable/unmodifiable risk conditions, these mechanical signals may be ‘misinterpreted’ by cardiac fibroblasts, giving rise to pathology programming. In fact, these cells are subject to changing their phenotype from that of matrix renewing to that of matrix scarring cells—the so-called myo-fibroblasts—involved in cardiac fibrosis. The links between alterations in the abilities of cardiac fibroblasts to ‘sense’ mechanical cues and molecular pathology programming are still under investigation. On the other hand, various evidence suggests that cell mechanics may control stromal cells phenotype by modifying the epigenetic landscape, and this involves specific non-coding RNAs. In the present contribution, we will provide examples in support of this more integrated vision of cardiac fibrotic progression based on the decryption of mechanical cues in the context of epigenetic and non-coding RNA biology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs in Cardiovascular Diseases-CardioRNA EU COST Action)
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Open AccessReview
MicroRNAs in Cardiac Hypertrophy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(19), 4714; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20194714 - 23 Sep 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Like other organs, the heart undergoes normal adaptive remodeling, such as cardiac hypertrophy, with age. This remodeling, however, is intensified under stress and pathological conditions. Cardiac remodeling could be beneficial for a short period of time, to maintain a normal cardiac output in [...] Read more.
Like other organs, the heart undergoes normal adaptive remodeling, such as cardiac hypertrophy, with age. This remodeling, however, is intensified under stress and pathological conditions. Cardiac remodeling could be beneficial for a short period of time, to maintain a normal cardiac output in times of need; however, chronic cardiac hypertrophy may lead to heart failure and death. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are known to have a role in the regulation of cardiac hypertrophy. This paper reviews recent advances in the field of miRNAs and cardiac hypertrophy, highlighting the latest findings for targeted genes and involved signaling pathways. By targeting pro-hypertrophic genes and signaling pathways, some of these miRNAs alleviate cardiac hypertrophy, while others enhance it. Therefore, miRNAs represent very promising potential pharmacotherapeutic targets for the management and treatment of cardiac hypertrophy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs in Cardiovascular Diseases-CardioRNA EU COST Action)
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Open AccessReview
Long Noncoding Competing Endogenous RNA Networks in Age-Associated Cardiovascular Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(12), 3079; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20123079 - 24 Jun 2019
Cited by 13
Abstract
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the most serious health problem in the world, displaying high rates of morbidity and mortality. One of the main risk factors for CVDs is age. Indeed, several mechanisms are at play during aging, determining the functional decline of the [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the most serious health problem in the world, displaying high rates of morbidity and mortality. One of the main risk factors for CVDs is age. Indeed, several mechanisms are at play during aging, determining the functional decline of the cardiovascular system. Aging cells and tissues are characterized by diminished autophagy, causing the accumulation of damaged proteins and mitochondria, as well as by increased levels of oxidative stress, apoptosis, senescence and inflammation. These processes can induce a rapid deterioration of cellular quality-control systems. However, the molecular mechanisms of age-associated CVDs are only partially known, hampering the development of novel therapeutic strategies. Evidence has emerged indicating that noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), such as long ncRNAs (lncRNAs) and micro RNAs (miRNAs), are implicated in most patho-physiological mechanisms. Specifically, lncRNAs can bind miRNAs and act as competing endogenous-RNAs (ceRNAs), therefore modulating the levels of the mRNAs targeted by the sponged miRNA. These complex lncRNA/miRNA/mRNA networks, by regulating autophagy, apoptosis, necrosis, senescence and inflammation, play a crucial role in the development of age-dependent CVDs. In this review, the emerging knowledge on lncRNA/miRNA/mRNA networks will be summarized and the way in which they influence age-related CVDs development will be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs in Cardiovascular Diseases-CardioRNA EU COST Action)
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