Long non-coding RNAs in the cardiovascular system
General scientific objectives:
In the last years it has become evident that the majority of the genome is transcribed, although only about 2% codes for proteins. Beside microRNAs, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) gained increasing attention as multifactorial regulators of gene expression. They exhibit the capacity to act as RNA decoy, microRNA sponge, RNP component and mRNA modifier. First studies suggest that lncRNAs also play critical roles in the cardiovascular system (Michalik et al, 2014; Boeckel et al., Circ Res 2015; Boon et al., JACC 2016). For example, the lncRNA MALAT1 was shown to control endothelial cell proliferation and the recovery after ischemia (Michalik et al., Circ Res 2014). In addition, we identified several novel hypoxia- and stress- regulated lnc RNAs as well as circular RNAs and are currently exploring their in vivo function and molecular mechanism of action.