Long Noncoding RNAs: From Clinical Genetics to Therapeutic Targets?

Reinier A Boon, Nicolas Jaé, Lesca Holdt, Stefanie Dimmeler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

377 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies suggest that the majority of the human genome is transcribed, but only about 2% accounts for protein-coding exons. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) constitute a heterogenic class of RNAs that includes, for example, intergenic lncRNAs, antisense transcripts, and enhancer RNAs. Moreover, alternative splicing can lead to the formation of circular RNAs. In support of putative functions, GWAS for cardiovascular diseases have shown predictive single-nucleotide polymorphisms in lncRNAs, such as the 9p21 susceptibility locus that encodes the lncRNA antisense noncoding RNA in the INK4 locus (ANRIL). Many lncRNAs are regulated during disease. For example, metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1) and myocardial infarction-associated transcript (MIAT) were shown to affect endothelial cell functions and diabetic retinopathy, whereas lincRNA-p21 controls neointima formation. In the heart, several lncRNAs were shown to act as microRNA sponges and to control ischemia-reperfusion injury or act as epigenetic regulators. In this review, the authors summarize the current understanding of lncRNA functions and their role as biomarkers in cardiovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1214-26
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2016


  • Biomarkers
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Journal Article
  • Myocardial Infarction
  • RNA
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • Review

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