miRNAs in Heart Development and Disease

Estefania Lozano-Velasco, José Manuel Inácio, Inês Sousa, Ana Rita Guimarães, Diego Franco, Gabriela Moura, José António Belo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are a group of disorders that affect the heart and blood vessels. They include conditions such as myocardial infarction, coronary artery disease, heart failure, arrhythmia, and congenital heart defects. CVDs are the leading cause of death worldwide. Therefore, new medical interventions that aim to prevent, treat, or manage CVDs are of prime importance. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the posttranscriptional level and play important roles in various biological processes, including cardiac development, function, and disease. Moreover, miRNAs can also act as biomarkers and therapeutic targets. In order to identify and characterize miRNAs and their target genes, scientists take advantage of computational tools such as bioinformatic algorithms, which can also assist in analyzing miRNA expression profiles, functions, and interactions in different cardiac conditions. Indeed, the combination of miRNA research and bioinformatic algorithms has opened new avenues for understanding and treating CVDs. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the roles of miRNAs in cardiac development and CVDs, discuss the challenges and opportunities, and provide some examples of recent bioinformatics for miRNA research in cardiovascular biology and medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1673
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • bioinformatic tools
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • heart development
  • miRNA


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