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Macro advances in microRNAs and myocardial regeneration

Wang, Juna; Martin, James F.a,b,c

Current Opinion in Cardiology: May 2014 - Volume 29 - Issue 3 - p 207–213
doi: 10.1097/HCO.0000000000000050
MOLECULAR GENETICS: Edited by Ali J. Marian

Purpose of review Myocardial injury and disease often result in heart failure, a major cause of death worldwide. To achieve myocardial regeneration and foster development of efficient therapeutics for cardiac injury, it is essential to uncover molecular mechanisms that will promote myocardial regeneration. In this review, we examine the latest progress made in elucidation of the roles of small non-coding RNAs called microRNAs (miRs) in myocardial regeneration.

Recent findings Promising progress has been made in studying cardiac regeneration. Several miRs, which include miR-590, miR-199a, miR-17-92 cluster, miR-199a-214 cluster, miR-34a, and miR-15 family, have been recently shown to play an essential role in myocardial regeneration by regulating different processes during cardiac repair, including cell death, proliferation, and metabolism. For example, miR-590 promotes cardiac regeneration through activating cardiomyocyte proliferation, whereas miR-34a inhibits cardiac repair through inducing apoptosis.

Summary These recent findings shed new light on our understanding of myocardial regeneration and suggest potential novel therapeutic targets to treat cardiac disease.

aDepartment of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

bProgram in Developmental Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza

cTexas Heart Institute, Houston, Texas, USA

Correspondence to James F. Martin, Cardiomyocyte Renewal Laboratory, Texas Heart Institute, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Tel: +1 713 798 5931; fax: +1 713 798 3475; e-mail:

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins