Research Topics

General scientific objectives:

At the intersection of technological innovation and translational therapeutic aims, this group further develops therapeutic approaches to treat cardiovascular disease. Ongoing studies focus on targeting microRNAs, which are small non-coding RNAs controlling gene expression patterns by targeting the 3´UTR of many mRNAs targets. Our group has identified various miRNAs, which can be targeted to improve cardiovascular disease and aging (e.g. Boon et al, 20121; Boon et al, 20132). Specifically, we successfully completed a pre-clinical study to assess the efficiency and safety of an antimiR directing miR-92a. This antimiR improves the recovery after ischemia (Bonauer et al, 20093; Hinkel et al, 20134), provides atheroprotective effects (Daniel et al, 20145) and improves wound healing and metabolic diseases (Lucas et al, 20176). Mechanistic studies identifying the molecular targets of this antimiR in distinct cell types (Rogg et al, 2018) complementing the ongoing first in men studies addressing the safety of these compounds.

Dr. Wesley Abplanalp, Eva-Maria Rogg , Ariane Fischer

  1. Boon RA, Seeger T, Heydt S, et al. MicroRNA-29 in aortic dilation: implications for aneurysm formation. Circ Res. 2011;109(10):1115-1119.
  2. Boon RA, Iekushi K, Lechner S, et al. MicroRNA-34a regulates cardiac ageing and function. Nature. 2013;495(7439):107-110.
  3. Bonauer A, Carmona G, Iwasaki M, et al. MicroRNA-92a controls angiogenesis and functional recovery of ischemic tissues in mice. Science. 2009;324(5935):1710-1713.
  4. Hinkel R, Penzkofer D, Zühlke S, et al. Inhibition of microRNA-92a protects against ischemia/reperfusion injury in a large-animal model. Circulation. 2013;128(10):1066-1075.
  5. Daniel J-M, Penzkofer D, Teske R, et al. Inhibition of miR-92a improves re-endothelialization and prevents neointima formation following vascular injury. Cardiovasc Res. 2014;103(4):564-572.
  6. Lucas T, Schäfer F, Müller P, Eming SA, Heckel A, Dimmeler S. Light-inducible antimiR-92a as a therapeutic strategy to promote skin repair in healing-impaired diabetic mice. Nat Commun. 2017;8:15162.