MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are tiny, endogenous nucleotides that bind to mRNA and induce translation repression within metazoan cells. Since their discovery in 1993 in Caenorhabditis elegans and the demonstration of miRNAs in Homo sapiens in 2000, research has been fruitful in deciphering the role of these nucleotides in development, tissue homeostasis, and pathologic processes. In humans, around 700 human miRNA nucleotides have been verified, which interfere with 30% of all genes. Recently, the role of miRNA in cardiovascular research gained attention and the involvement of miRNAs in several cardiovascular diseases has been identified. In this review, we focus on the role of miRNAs in atherosclerosis and in particular on the potential role of miRNAs in the development of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques. The role of miRNA in the main characteristics of these plaques, inflammation, angiogenesis, and apoptosis will be discussed. Finally, the future perspectives and miRNA-based diagnostic and therapeutic potentials will be highlighted.

Atherosclerosis, MiRNA, Rupture, Vulnerable plaque
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tcm.2010.04.002, hdl.handle.net/1765/28286
Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Haver, V.G, Slart, R.H.J.A, Zeebregts, C.J, Peppelenbosch, M.P, & Tio, R.A. (2010). Rupture of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques: MicroRNAs conducting the orchestra?. Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine (Vol. 20, pp. 65–71). doi:10.1016/j.tcm.2010.04.002