Using microRNA as an Alternative Treatment for Hyperlipidemia and Cardiovascular Disease: Cardio-miRs in the Pipeline

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It is now appreciated that over 90% of the human genome is comprised of noncoding RNAs that have the ability to affect other components of the genome and regulate gene expression. This has galvanized the development of RNA-based therapeutics for a myriad of diseases, including cancer, inflammatory conditions, and cardiovascular disease. Several classes of RNA therapeutics are currently under clinical development, including antisense oligonucleotides, small interfering RNA, and microRNA mimetics and inhibitors. The field of antisense technology saw a huge leap forward with the recent Food and Drug Administration approval of the first antisense therapy, directed against apolipoprotein B, for the treatment of familial hypercholesterolemia. In addition, recent progress in the development of approaches to inhibit microRNAs has helped to illuminate their roles in repressing gene networks and also revealed their potential as therapeutic targets. In this review, these exciting opportunities in the field of drug discovery, with a focus on emerging therapeutics in the field of cardiovascular disease, are summarized.

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