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      Non-coding RNAs in cardiovascular diseases: diagnostic and therapeutic perspectives

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          Abstract

          Recent research has demonstrated that the non-coding genome plays a key role in genetic programming and gene regulation during development as well as in health and cardiovascular disease. About 99% of the human genome do not encode proteins, but are transcriptionally active representing a broad spectrum of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) with important regulatory and structural functions. Non-coding RNAs have been identified as critical novel regulators of cardiovascular risk factors and cell functions and are thus important candidates to improve diagnostics and prognosis assessment. Beyond this, ncRNAs are rapidly emgerging as fundamentally novel therapeutics. On a first level, ncRNAs provide novel therapeutic targets some of which are entering assessment in clinical trials. On a second level, new therapeutic tools were developed from endogenous ncRNAs serving as blueprints. Particularly advanced is the development of RNA interference (RNAi) drugs which use recently discovered pathways of endogenous short interfering RNAs and are becoming versatile tools for efficient silencing of protein expression. Pioneering clinical studies include RNAi drugs targeting liver synthesis of PCSK9 resulting in highly significant lowering of LDL cholesterol or targeting liver transthyretin (TTR) synthesis for treatment of cardiac TTR amyloidosis. Further novel drugs mimicking actions of endogenous ncRNAs may arise from exploitation of molecular interactions not accessible to conventional pharmacology. We provide an update on recent developments and perspectives for diagnostic and therapeutic use of ncRNAs in cardiovascular diseases, including atherosclerosis/coronary disease, post-myocardial infarction remodelling, and heart failure.

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          Most cited references 240

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          An Integrated Encyclopedia of DNA Elements in the Human Genome

          Summary The human genome encodes the blueprint of life, but the function of the vast majority of its nearly three billion bases is unknown. The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project has systematically mapped regions of transcription, transcription factor association, chromatin structure, and histone modification. These data enabled us to assign biochemical functions for 80% of the genome, in particular outside of the well-studied protein-coding regions. Many discovered candidate regulatory elements are physically associated with one another and with expressed genes, providing new insights into the mechanisms of gene regulation. The newly identified elements also show a statistical correspondence to sequence variants linked to human disease, and can thereby guide interpretation of this variation. Overall the project provides new insights into the organization and regulation of our genes and genome, and an expansive resource of functional annotations for biomedical research.
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            Circulating microRNAs as stable blood-based markers for cancer detection.

            Improved approaches for the detection of common epithelial malignancies are urgently needed to reduce the worldwide morbidity and mortality caused by cancer. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small ( approximately 22 nt) regulatory RNAs that are frequently dysregulated in cancer and have shown promise as tissue-based markers for cancer classification and prognostication. We show here that miRNAs are present in human plasma in a remarkably stable form that is protected from endogenous RNase activity. miRNAs originating from human prostate cancer xenografts enter the circulation, are readily measured in plasma, and can robustly distinguish xenografted mice from controls. This concept extends to cancer in humans, where serum levels of miR-141 (a miRNA expressed in prostate cancer) can distinguish patients with prostate cancer from healthy controls. Our results establish the measurement of tumor-derived miRNAs in serum or plasma as an important approach for the blood-based detection of human cancer.
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              GENCODE: the reference human genome annotation for The ENCODE Project.

              The GENCODE Consortium aims to identify all gene features in the human genome using a combination of computational analysis, manual annotation, and experimental validation. Since the first public release of this annotation data set, few new protein-coding loci have been added, yet the number of alternative splicing transcripts annotated has steadily increased. The GENCODE 7 release contains 20,687 protein-coding and 9640 long noncoding RNA loci and has 33,977 coding transcripts not represented in UCSC genes and RefSeq. It also has the most comprehensive annotation of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) loci publicly available with the predominant transcript form consisting of two exons. We have examined the completeness of the transcript annotation and found that 35% of transcriptional start sites are supported by CAGE clusters and 62% of protein-coding genes have annotated polyA sites. Over one-third of GENCODE protein-coding genes are supported by peptide hits derived from mass spectrometry spectra submitted to Peptide Atlas. New models derived from the Illumina Body Map 2.0 RNA-seq data identify 3689 new loci not currently in GENCODE, of which 3127 consist of two exon models indicating that they are possibly unannotated long noncoding loci. GENCODE 7 is publicly available from gencodegenes.org and via the Ensembl and UCSC Genome Browsers.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                European Heart Journal
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                0195-668X
                1522-9645
                April 18 2017
                April 18 2017
                :
                :
                Article
                10.1093/eurheartj/ehx165
                6454570
                28430919
                © 2017

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