The long non-coding road to endogenous cardiac regeneration


The human heart has a markedly low regenerative capacity, leaving patients who suffered from cardiac insults vulnerable to heart failure. The inability to regenerate lost myocardium is accompanied by extensive remodeling that leads to further deterioration in cardiac functions and structure. Although adult mammals seem to lack the ability to regenerate, some lower vertebrates have a cardio-regenerative potential. Emerging studies revealed that mammals do have the ability to undergo endogenous cardiac regeneration during development and shortly after birth. Later, it was proven that the source of the new cardiomyocytes is the proliferation of the pre-existing cardiomyocyte pool. Research is currently focused on finding suitable methods to restore this lost potential in adulthood and enhancing the proliferative capacity of cardiomyocytes. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are critical functionally diverse epigenetic regulators capable of either activating or repressing gene expression. LncRNAs have been previously implicated in cardiac development, lineage commitment, and aging. Recent reports suggest that lncRNAs are capable of inducing endogenous cardiac regeneration through manipulating gene expression in cardiomyocytes. This review gives a concise overview of endogenous cardiac regeneration. It further summarizes and critically appraises the current literature on the roles of lncRNAs in endogenous cardiac regeneration and the challenges that face the field.

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I would like to express my deepest appreciation to Abdelaziz AI for his guidance and continuous support.



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Afify, A.R.Y. The long non-coding road to endogenous cardiac regeneration. Heart Fail Rev 24, 587–600 (2019).

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  • Long non-coding RNAs
  • Epigenetics
  • Cardiac regeneration
  • Heart failure
  • Cardiomyocyte proliferation