Non-coding RNA (ncRNA) is a class of genetic, epigenetic and translational regulators, containing short and long transcripts with intriguing abilities for use as biomarkers due to their superordinate role in disease development. In the past five years many of these have been investigated in cardiovascular diseases (CVD), mainly myocardial infarction (MI) and heart failure. To extend this view, we summarize the existing data about ncRNA as biomarker in the whole entity of CVDs by literature-based review and comparison of the identified candidates. The myomirs miRNA-1, -133a/b, -208a, -499 with well-defined cellular functions have proven equal to classic protein biomarkers for disease detection in MI. Other microRNAs (miRNAs) were reproducibly found to correlate with disease, disease severity and outcome in heart failure, stroke, coronary artery disease (CAD) and aortic aneurysm. An additional utilization has been discovered for therapeutic monitoring. The function of long non-coding transcripts is only about to be unraveled, yet shows great potential for outcome prediction. ncRNA biomarkers have a distinct role if no alternative test is available or has is performing poorly. With increasing mechanistic understanding, circulating miRNA and long non-coding transcripts will provide useful disease information with high predictive power.
Keywords: Non-coding RNA (ncRNA); biomarker; cardiovascular disease (CVD); long ncRNA (lncRNA); microRNA (miRNA).