MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small conserved noncoding RNAs which function as posttranscriptional
regulators of gene expression. Studies over the last 20 years have revealed the essential
functions of miRNAs in regulating cardiovascular biology (such as cardiovascular cell differentiation,
growth, proliferation and apoptosis) and crucial roles in controlling cardiovascular disease (CVD), indicating
the potential of these small molecules as therapeutic targets and/or agents for CVD. Moreover,
miRNAs in the circulation or other body fluids are stable and readily detectable, and more importantly
often disease-associated, which makes them promising novel biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis of
CVDs. Furthermore, emerging evidence uncovered miRNAs as new targets and/or regulators of cardiovascular
medications given the ability of miRNAs to interact with some cardiovascular drugs, which
opens up new opportunities for the research and development of novel CVD drugs. Herein, we summarize
current knowledge regarding the potential applications of miRNAs in the therapy of CVD, including
myocardial ischemia, cardiac hypertrophy/heart failure, interstitial fibrosis, arrhythmia, diabetes and
hypertension and discuss the therapeutic potential and challenge of miRNAs in drug discovery.
Keywords: MicroRNA (miRNA), drug discovery, myocardial ischemia, cardiac hypertrophy, cardiac fibrosis, arrhythmias,
heart failure, hypertension, diabetes, therapy, biomarker.
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