MicroRNAs and Cardiovascular Disease

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Micro RNAs (miRNAs) are known to play an important role in gene expression regulation. Owing to their ever-increasing implications in the control of various biological and pathological processes, ...
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miRNA Interference Approaches for Cardiovascular Disease

Pp. 127-135 (9)

Zhiguo Wang


miRNA interference (miRNAi) is a new concept that I proposed for the development of strategies and technologies to manipulate the function, stability, biogenesis, or expression of miRNAs and as such it indirectly interferes with expression of protein-coding mRNAs. This chapter aims to give an implicitly detailed introduction to some of the miRNAi strategies and technologies developed so far. The fundamental mechanism of miRNA regulation of gene expression is miRNA:mRNA interaction or binding. A key to interfere with miRNA actions is to disrupt the miRNA:mRNA interaction. In order to achieve this aim, one can either manipulate miRNAs or mRNAs to alter the miRNA:mRNA interaction. For miRNAs, one can either mimic miRNA actions to enhance the miRNA:mRNA interaction or to inhibit miRNAs to break the miRNA:mRNA interaction. Both gain-offunction and loss-of-function technologies are necessary tools for understanding miRNAs. The miRNAi technologies have opened up new opportunities for creative and rational designs of a variety of combinations integrating varying nucleotide fragments for various purposes and provided exquisite tools for functional analysis related to identification and characterization of targets of miRNAs and their functions in gene controlling program. In addition, the miRNAi technologies also offer the strategies and tools for designing new agents for gene therapy of human disease.


Department of Medicine, Montreal Heart Institute, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada