Heart Self-Repair May Be Prompted with Regulatory RNAs

06:57 EDT 21 Aug 2017 | Genetic Engineering News

Heart tissue is notoriously poor at self-repair, but it isn’t entirely helpless. It’s just super-slow because mature, developed hearts retain very few heart cells that hold regeneration potential. For example, in adult mouse or human heart, new cardiomyocytes are generated at rates of about 1%—not enough to repair damage from cardiovascular disease. But what if those rates could be increased? To explore this possibility, scientists based at A*STAR's Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) and the National University Health System (NUHS) looked at cardiac cell subpopulations and how they differed in gene expression. The scientists examined cardiomyocytes from mouse and human hearts—from both failing and nonfailing adult hearts—using single nuclear RNA-sequencing. The scientists found that in cardiac subpopulations, the upregulation of cell cycle activators and inhibitors consequent to the stress-response varied. In particular, the scientists found that two long noncoding ribonucleic acids (ncRNAs) appear to regulate genes controlling the ...

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