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MicroRNA function in cardiac and metabolic disease

Final Report Summary - MICARUS (MicroRNA function in cardiac and metabolic disease)

Cardiovascular disease remains the primary cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short pieces of RNA that can regulate the formation of specific proteins relevant for biology or disease. Thus, the regulation of a single miRNA can have a profound effects. In recent years, prominent roles for miRNAs have been uncovered in a variety of cardiovascular disorders. Of special interest to us is the cardiac specific miRNA, miR-208. We showed that, in response to cardiac stress, inhibition of miR-208 showed therapeutic benefits.
In MICARUS we investigated these effects in more detail and studied the activity of specific proteins that are influenced by miR-208. In doing so we unveiled important mechanisms that are relevant for heart remodeling and repair.
Additionally, we examined the therapeutic effect of miR-208 inhibition using a medicine named antimiR-208. Our results showed that these medicine function better under disease conditions and that their function is influenced by the disease state of the heart. These are important findings for moving these compounds into the patients.
The data generated in MICARUS created many important insights and new research applications and as such laid the foundation for many follow-up research projects.