Novel Nuclear MicroRNA (miR-466c) Being Developed for Treatment of Ischemic Cardiovascular Disease; Exosomes Being Engineered to Ultimately Deliver the Angiogenic MicroRNA into Patients

Examples of miRNA stem-loops, with the mature miRNAs shown in red.
A novel angiogenic microRNA drug can be a new option for the treatment of ischemic cardiovascular disease, according to a new study published in PLOS ONE by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland together with international collaborators. The article is titled “Nuclear microRNA-466c Regulates Vegfa Expression in Response to Hypoxia.” In the study, the researchers describe a novel nuclear-acting microRNA. MicroRNAs are small RNA molecules, which regulate gene expression. Their canonical role is gene silencing by targeting messenger RNAs in cell cytoplasm. However, this novel microRNA, miR-466c, has a different mechanism of action. It upregulates the vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) by targeting the gene promoter in the cell nucleus. In addition to expanding the academic understanding of microRNA biology, these findings have commercial relevance for the development of novel RNA drugs. Increasing the expression of VEGFA by using small RNAs offers novel options for the treatment of ischemic cardiovascular disease, where the blood supply in the tissue is compromised.
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