Aims: non-coding RNA has been recently demonstrated to be a novel mechanism for modulation of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. The importance of microRNAs in the cardiovascular system is now apparent. Mutations of distinct microRNAs have provided evidence for fundamental roles of microRNAs during cardiovascular development. However, there is limited information about global microRNA profiles during mouse heart development. In this study, we have gained insight from the expression profiles of microRNAs during mouse ventricular development by microarray and qRT-PCR analysis.
Methods and results: our microarray analysis reveals that relatively few microRNAs display either increasing or decreasing expression profiles during ventricular chamber formation. Interestingly, most of the differentially expressed microRNAs display a rather discrete peak of expression at particular developmental stages. Furthermore, we demonstrate that microRNA-27b (miR-27b) displays an overt myocardial expression during heart development and that the transcription factor-encoding gene Mef2c is an miR-27b target.
Conclusion: our data present a comprehensive profile of microRNA expression during ventricular maturation, providing an entry point for investigation of the functional roles of the most abundantly and differentially expressed microRNAs during cardiogenesis.