Regulatory RNAs controlling vascular (dys)function by affecting TGF-ß family signalling
Keywords:microRNA, cardiovascular disease, transforming growth factor-ß, bone morphogenetic protein, endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Over the last few years, microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as master regulators of gene expression in cardiovascular biology and disease. miRNAs are small endogenous non-coding RNAs that usually bind to 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of their target mRNAs and inhibit mRNA stability or translation of their target genes. miRNAs play a dynamic role in the pathophysiology of many CVDs through their effects on target mRNAs in vascular cells. Recently, numerous miRNAs have been implicated in the regulation of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signalling pathway which plays crucial roles in diverse biological processes, and is involved in pathogenesis of many diseases including CVD. This review gives an overview of current literature on the role of miRNAs targeting TGF-β/BMP signalling in vascular cells, including endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells. We also provide insight into how this miRNA-mediated regulation of TGF-β/BMP signalling might be used to harness CVD.
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