Canberra-based medical researchers have completed the first comprehensive survey of the tiny cellular molecules found in the heart and which are essential for its healthy function. The work could lead to the development of targeted therapeutic treatments for heart disease.
The team used the latest sequencing technology to capture and identify thousands of microRNAs found in the cells of the heart. Even though they are tiny molecules, microRNAs are abundant in cells and act like an army of ants – individually making small changes to the expression of many genes, but in combination resulting in large changes to the cell. When these molecules are deregulated, or ‘not co-ordinating their efforts’, they can cause disease.
Prof Thomas Preiss, Dr Jennifer Clancy, John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU
PLoS ONE; http://news.anu.edu.au/?p=13491