MicroRNAs: Novel regulators in cardiac development and disease

Thomas Thum, Daniele Catalucci, Johann Bauersachs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous, small ribonucleotides regulating the translation of target messenger RNAs that have been shown to be involved in orchestrating growth, development, function, and stress responses of various organs, including the heart. Muscle miRNAs are mainly controlled by a network of myogenic transcription factors, and throughout cardiac development they fine-tune regulatory protein levels in a spatiotemporal manner. Recent profiling studies revealed that miRNA expression patterns are derailed in both human cardiac disease and animal models of cardiac hypertrophy and failure. Modulation of miRNA expression in vitro as well as in vivo has revealed an important role of miRNAs in regulating heart function, particularly cardiac growth and conductance. Here, we overview the recent findings on miRNAs in cardiac development and disease and report the latest advances in the identification and validation of miRNA targets, which are important for a comprehensive understanding of cardiac miRNA function. Finally, we focus on the development and use of miRNA antagonists (antagomirs) to target miRNAs in vivo, which may translate into novel therapeutic strategies for heart disease in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-570
Number of pages9
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


  • Antagomirs
  • Cardiac hypertrophy
  • Dicer
  • Heart failure
  • MicroRNAs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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