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Genome regions once mislabeled 'junk' linked to heart failure
Date:4/25/2014

ed samples taken from different patients.

This double sampling of the same organ is important for understanding what is happening on a molecular level to failing heart tissue when a pump literally takes some of the load off.

"It's clear that some patients experience a change in the structure and physiology of the heart tissue following pump support, and in some patients that change results in improved heart function," Nerbonne said. "One interesting question is whether these long noncoding RNAs could be a measure of whether the failing heart is getting better with an LVAD."

Indeed, using the nonfailing heart samples for comparison, about 10 percent of the long noncoding RNA expression that was disturbed in the failing hearts improved or returned to normal following LVAD support. While 10 percent may seem modest, only about 3 percent, at best, of other types of RNA expression returned to normal after pump support.

Nerbonne also is interested in exploring whether measures of long noncoding RNAs could be an early predictor of the disease, ideally before symptoms of heart failure even develop.

Nerbonne pointed out that this study was made possible by a number of important resources, including recent advances in genome sequencing and the availability of tissues through the Washington University Translational Cardiovascular Biobank & Repository (TCBR).

Continuing to plumb these largely unexplored parts of the genome, Nerbonne and her colleagues plan to continue to work closely with the TCBR to facilitate studies of long noncoding RNAs in other cardiac conditions. Specifically, they are interested in atrial fibrillation, the most common irregular heart rhythm, and in comparing adult versus pediatric heart failure, an analysis that may illuminate the role of noncoding RNA in the heart's early development.


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Contact: Diane Duke Williams
williamsdia@wustl.edu
314-286-0111
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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