Role of miRNAs on the Pathophysiology of Cardiovascular Diseases

Abstract MiRNA (or microRNA) is a subclass of non-coding RNAs that is responsible for post-transcriptional gene regulation. It has approximately 22 nucleotides and regulates gene expression in plants and animals at the post-transcriptional level, by the cleavage of a target mRNA or by suppression of its translation. Although many of the processes and mechanisms have not yet been fully elucidated, there is a strong association between miRNA expression and several diseases. It is known that miRNAs are expressed in the cardiovascular system, but their role in cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) has not been clearly established. In this non-systematic review of the literature, we first present the definition of miRNAs and their action at the cellular level. Afterward, we discuss the role of miRNAs as circulating biomarkers of CVDs, and then their role in cardiac remodeling and atherosclerosis. Despite the complexity and challenges, it is crucial to identify deregulated miRNAs in CVDs, as it allows a better understanding of underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms and helps in the development of more accurate diagnostic and prognostic circulating biomarkers, and new therapeutic strategies for different stages of CVDs.