Long Noncoding RNA Discovery in Cardiovascular Disease: Decoding Form to Function

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Despite significant improvements during the past 3 decades, cardiovascular disease remains a leading worldwide health epidemic. The recent identification of a fascinating group of mediators known as long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) has provided a wealth of new biology to explore for cardiovascular risk mitigation. lncRNAs are expressed in a highly context-specific fashion, and multiple lines of evidence implicated them in diverse biological processes. Indeed, abnormalities of lncRNAs have been directly linked with human ailments, including cardiovascular biology and disease. Of particular interest to the cardiovascular research community, dysregulation in lncRNA regulatory circuits have been associated with cardiac pathological hypertrophy, vascular disease, cell fate programming and development, atherosclerosis, dyslipidemia, and metabolic syndrome. Although techniques in interrogating noncoding RNAs are rapidly evolving, a major challenge in studying lncRNAs remains navigating through multiple technical constraints. In this review, we provide a road map for lncRNA discovery and interrogation in biological systems relevant to cardiovascular disease and highlight approaches to decipher their modes of action.

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