Research Summary

Role of non-coding RNAs in cardiovascular diseases

All protein-coding genes in humans originate from about 2% of the genome and the remaining portion of the genome remains untrancribed or transcribed as non-coding RNAs. All available therapies and diseasediagnostics today are based on this 2% of the coding-genome. Until recently, non-coding genome was believed to be ‘junk’ DNA. However, recent studies have highlighted the importance of non-coding RNAs in various patho-physiological conditions. MicroRNAs(≈21nt-long) and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs; ≤200nt-long) are the two major classes of non-coding RNAs that regulate gene-expression. We and others have shown that microRNAs play a very important role in cardiovascular diseases. However information about the role of lncRNAs in this context is relatively scarce. General research focus in my lab at CCMB is to understand how lncRNAs regulate fate of the different major cellular subsets of the heart (cardiomyocytes, fibroblasts and endothelial cells).

Figure Legend: : Deletion of miR-212/132 cluster in mice leads to increased endothelial tip cells and vascular branch points (left) and enhanced angiogenesis (right) in retina at post-natal day 5 (p5). Scale bars: 200 µM (left) and 500 µM (right). Staining: isolectin B4 FITC.