PhD Conferral Mr. Andrea Raso, MSc.
Supervisor: prof.dr. L.J. de Windt
Co-supervisor: dr. P. Da Costa Martins
Keywords: heart failure, microRNA, heart muscle proliferation, gene therapy
“MicroRNAs as therapeutic targets in heart diseases”
Heart failure represents the common end-point of a wide range of heart diseases. We are still far from having a complete understanding of which molecular mechanisms lead to distinct forms of heart failure. MicroRNAs are recently discovered “mini-genes” that regulate gene expression and cellular function. This research shows how certain microRNAs can stimulate heart muscle cells to proliferate, while others regulate the thickness of the heart wall. Apart from regulating processes that lead to heart disease, examples are given regarding how manipulation of these “mini-genes” can be used therapeutically in developing new cures for heart disease after a heart attack or in chronic hypertension.