Non-coding RNAs and Atrial Fibrillation

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2020:1229:311-325. doi: 10.1007/978-981-15-1671-9_19.


Atrial fibrillation is the most frequent type of cardiac arrhythmia in humans, with an estimate incidence of 1-2% in the general population, rising up to 8-10% in the elderly. Cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension and hyperthyroidism can increase the occurrence of AF. The onset of AF triggers additional AF episodes, leading to structural and electrical remodeling of the diseased heart. Understanding the molecular bases of atrial fibrillation have greatly advance over the last decade demonstrating a pivotal role of distinct ion channels in AF pathophysiology. A new scenario has opened on the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying AF, with the discovery of non-coding RNAs and their wide implication in multiple disease states, including cardiac arrhythmogenic pathologies. microRNAs are small non-coding RNAs of 22-24 nucleotides that are capable of regulating gene expression by interacting with the mRNA transcript 3'UTRs and promoting mRNA degradation and/or protein translation blockage. Long non-coding RNAs are a more diverse group of non-coding RNAs, providing transcriptional and post-transcriptional roles and subclassified according to their functional properties. In this chapter we summarized current state-of-the-art knowledge on the functional of microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs as well as their cross-talk regulatory mechanisms in atrial fibrillation.

Keywords: Atrial fibrillation; Biomakers; lncRNAs; microRNAs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation* / genetics
  • Atrial Remodeling
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA, Untranslated*


  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Untranslated