Causes and treatments for heart failure (HF) have been investigated for over a century culminating in data that have led to numerous pharmacological and surgical therapies. Unfortunately, to date, even with the most current treatments, HF remains a progressive disease with no therapies targeting the cardiomyocytes directly. Technological advances within the past two to three years have brought about new paradigms for treating many diseases that previously had been extremely difficult to resolve. One of these new paradigms has been a shift from pharmacological agents to antisense technology (e.g., microRNAs) to target the molecular underpinnings of pathological processes leading to disease onset. Although this paradigm shift may have been postulated over a decade ago, only within the past few years has it become feasible. Here, we show that miRNA106a targets genes that, when misregulated, have been shown to cause hypertrophy and eventual HF. The addition of miRNA106a suppresses misexpressed HF genes and reverses hypertrophy. Most importantly, using a cardiac targeting peptide reversibly linked to miRNA106a, we show delivery is specific to cardiomyocytes.
Keywords: cardiac targeting peptide; heart failure; hypertrophy; miRNA therapy.