MicroRNAs in the Pathobiology and Therapy of Atherosclerosis

Benoit Laffont, Katey J Rayner
Canadian Journal of Cardiology 2017, 33 (3): 313-324
MicroRNAs are short noncoding RNAs, expressed in humans and involved in sequence-specific post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. They have emerged as key players in a wide array of biological processes, and changes in their expression and/or function have been associated with plethora of human diseases. Atherosclerosis and its related clinical complications, such as myocardial infarction or stroke, represent the leading cause of death in the Western world. Accumulating experimental evidence has revealed a key role for microRNAs in regulating cellular and molecular processes related to atherosclerosis development, ranging from risk factors, to plaque initiation and progression, up to atherosclerotic plaque rupture. In this review, we focus on how microRNAs can influence atherosclerosis biology, as well as the potential clinical applications of microRNAs, which are being developed as targets as well as therapeutic agents for a growing industry hoping to harness the power of RNA-guided gene regulation to fight disease and infection.

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