Identification of micro-RNA networks in end-stage heart failure because of dilated cardiomyopathy


Correspondence to: Jun CAI or Xinchun YANG, Department of Cardiology, Chaoyang Hospital, Capital Medical University, 8th Gongtinanlu Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100020, China.

Tel.: 86-10-85231937

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Micro-RNAs regulate gene expression by directly binding to the target mRNAs. The goal of the study was to examine the expression profiling of miRNAs in human failing hearts and identify the key miRNAs that regulate molecular signalling networks and thus contribute to this pathological process. The levels of miRNAs and expressed genes were analysed in myocardial biopsy samples from patients with end-stage heart failure (n = 14) and those from normal heart samples (n = 8). Four networks were built including the Gene regulatory network, Signal-Network, miRNA-GO-Network and miRNA-Gene-Network. According to the fold change in the network and probability values in the microarray cohort, RT-PCR was performed to measure the expression of five of the 72 differentially regulated miRNAs. miR-340 achieved statistically significant. miR-340 was identified for the first time in cardiac pathophysiological condition. We overexpressed miR-340 in cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes to identify whether miR-340 plays a determining role in the progression of heart failure. ANP, BNP and caspase-3 were significantly elevated in the miR-340 transfected cells compared with controls (P < 0.05). The cross-sectional area of overexpressing miR-340 cardiomyocytes (1952.22 ± 106.59) was greater (P < 0.0001) than controls (1059.99 ± 45.59) documented by Laser Confocal Microscopy. The changes of cellular structure and the volume were statistical significance. Our study provided a comprehensive miRNA expression profiling in the end-stage heart failure and identified miR-340 as a key miRNA contributing to the occurrence and progression of heart failure. Our discoveries provide novel therapeutic targets for patients with heart failure.