Gays, D., and Santoro, M.M. (2013) The admiR-able advances in cardiovascular biology through the zebrafish model system. Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS. 70(14):2489-503.
MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs endogenously expressed by all tissues during development and adulthood. They regulate
gene expression by controlling the stability of targeted messenger RNA. In cardiovascular tissues microRNAs play a role by
modulating essential genes involved in heart and blood vessel development and homeostasis. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) system is a recognized vertebrate model system useful to study cardiovascular biology; recently, it has been used to investigate
microRNA functions during natural and pathological states. In this review, we will illustrate the advantages of the zebrafish
model in the study of microRNAs in heart and vascular cells, providing an update on recent discoveries using the zebrafish
to identify new microRNAs and their targeted genes in cardiovascular tissues. Lastly, we will provide evidence that the zebrafish
is an optimal model system to undercover new microRNA functions in vertebrates and to improve microRNA-based therapeutic approaches.
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