Author(s): Schonrock N, Harvey RP, Mattick JS, Schonrock N, Harvey RP, Mattick JS
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Abstract Heart function requires sophisticated regulatory networks to orchestrate organ development, physiological responses, and environmental adaptation. Until recently, it was thought that these regulatory networks are composed solely of protein-mediated transcriptional control and signaling systems; consequently, it was thought that cardiac disease involves perturbation of these systems. However, it is becoming evident that RNA, long considered to function primarily as the platform for protein production, may in fact play a major role in most, if not all, aspects of gene regulation, especially the epigenetic processes that underpin organogenesis. These include not only well-validated classes of regulatory RNAs, such as microRNAs, but also tens of thousands of long noncoding RNAs that are differentially expressed across the entire genome of humans and other animals. Here, we review this emerging landscape, summarizing what is known about their functions and their role in cardiac biology, and provide a toolkit to assist in exploring this previously hidden layer of gene regulation that may underpin heart adaptation and complex heart diseases.
This article was published in Circ Res
and referenced in Journal of Neurology & Neurophysiology