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Oury, Cecile; Servais, Laurence; Bouznad, Nassim; Hego, Alexandre; Nchimi, Alain; Lancellotti, Patrizio (2016): MicroRNAs in Valvular Heart Diseases: Potential Role as Markers and Actors of Valvular and Cardiac Remodeling. In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol. 17, No. 7, 1120


miRNAs are a class of over 5000 noncoding RNAs that regulate more than half of the protein-encoding genes by provoking their degradation or preventing their translation. miRNAs are key regulators of complex biological processes underlying several cardiovascular disorders, including left ventricular hypertrophy, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, hypertension and arrhythmias. Moreover, circulating miRNAs herald promise as biomarkers in acute myocardial infarction and heart failure. In this context, this review gives an overview of studies that suggest that miRNAs could also play a role in valvular heart diseases. This area of research is still at its infancy, and further investigations in large patient cohorts and cellular or animal models are needed to provide strong data. Most studies focused on aortic stenosis, one of the most common valvular diseases in developed countries. Profiling and functional analyses indicate that miRNAs could contribute to activation of aortic valve interstitial cells to a myofibroblast phenotype, leading to valvular fibrosis and calcification, and to pressure overload-induced myocardial remodeling and hypertrophy. Data also indicate that specific miRNA signatures, in combination with clinical and functional imaging parameters, could represent useful biomarkers of disease progression or recovery after aortic valve replacement.