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Significance of non-coding circular RNAs and micro RNAs in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases
  1. Guoan Zhao
  1. The Cardiovascular Research Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang, Henan, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Guoan Zhao, The Cardiovascular ResearchCenter of the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang City 453003, China; zhaoguoan16{at}


Heart failure, coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction are the most prominent cardiovascular diseases contributing significantly to death worldwide. In the majority of situations, except for surgical interventions and transplantation, there are no reliable therapeutic approaches available to address these health problem. Despite several advances that led to the development of biomarkers and therapies based on the renin–angiotensin system, adrenergic pathways, etc, more definitive and consistent biomarkers and specific target based molecular therapies are still being sought. Recent advances in the field of genomic research has helped in identifying non-coding RNAs, including circular RNAs, piRNAs, micro RNAs, and long non-coding RNAs, that play a significant role in the regulation of gene expression and function and have direct impact on pathophysiological mechanisms. This new knowledge is currently being explored with much hope for the development of novel treatments and biomarkers. Circular RNAs and micro RNAs have been described in myocardium and aortic valves and were shown to be involved in the regulation of pathophysiological processes that potentially contribute to cardiovascular diseases. Approximately 32 000 human exonic circular RNAs have been catalogued and their functions are still being ascertained. In the heart, circular RNAs were shown to bind micro RNAs in a specific manner and regulate the expression of transcription factors and stress response genes, and expression of these non-coding RNAs were found to change in conditions such as cardiac hypertrophy, heart failure and cardiac remodelling, reflecting their significance as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. In this review, we address the present state of understanding on the biogenesis, regulation and pathophysiological roles of micro and circular RNAs in cardiovascular diseases, and on the potential future perspectives on their use as biomarkers and therapeutic agents.

  • cardiovascular medicine
  • genetics
  • ischaemic heart disease
  • microrna
  • epigenetics

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  • Contributors GZ planned the review, collected all of the literature, assembled the information and wrote thereview.

  • Funding Beijing Medical and Health Foundation (No:B17246-045); Foundation of He’nan Educational Committee (No:18A320005 and No:19A360032).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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