The heart is one of the most important vital
organs, and any malfunctioning of the heart and its
blood vessels may contribute to cardiovascular disorders.
Diseases of the cardiovascular system represent the most
common cause of human morbidity and mortality around
the globe. Thus, there is always a need for innovative new
therapies and diagnostics for cardiovascular disorders. In
the past decades, a plethora of tiny, endogenous, singlestranded
RNA sequences called microRNAs (miRNAs) has
been studied meticulously in cardiovascular development
and pathophysiology, providing a new dimension to the
heart’s biology. miRNAs posttranscriptional inhibit the
gene expression of specific mRNA targets through Watson–
Crick base pairing between the miRNA “seed region”
and the 3′ untranslated regions (UTRs) of target mRNAs.
Better recognized as “master switches”, miRNAs are
emerging as vital regulators of mammalian cardiovascular
development and disease and thus are helpful in
understanding therapeutic targets and diagnostics for
a variety of cardiovascular disorders. In this review, a
detailed discussion of the roles of various microRNAs in
cardiovascular development and pathophysiology with
potential therapeutics is considered.