Regulation of Cardiac Cell Fate by microRNAs: Implications for Heart Regeneration

Margarida Gama-Carvalho, Jorge Andrade, Luis Brás-Rosário
2014 Cells  
microRNAs are post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression that have been shown to be central players in the establishment of cellular programs, often acting as switches that control the choice between proliferation and differentiation during development and in adult tissues. The heart develops from two small patches of cells in the mesoderm, the heart fields, which originate the different cardiac cell types, including cardiomyocytes, vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells. These
more » ... genitors proliferate and differentiate to establish a highly connected three-dimensional structure, involving a robust succession of gene expression programs strongly influenced by microRNAs. Although the mammalian heart has conventionally been viewed as a postmitotic organ, cardiac cells have recently been shown to display some regenerative potential, which is nonetheless insufficient to regenerate heart lesions, in contrast with other vertebrates like the zebrafish. Both the proliferation of adult cardiac stem cells and the ability of cardiomyocytes to re-enter the cell cycle have been proposed to sustain these regenerative processes. Here we review the role of microRNAs in the control of stem cell and cardiomyocyte dependent cardiac regeneration processes, and discuss potential applications for the treatment of cardiac injury.
doi:10.3390/cells3040996 pmid:25358052 pmcid:PMC4276912 fatcat:kty3ztxgvrdkxiqplgobk5ylru