Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are an emerging class of small non-coding RNAs of 17 to 25 nucleotides in length implicated in a wide variety of cellular processes. MiRNAs posttranscriptionally repress gene expression by recognizing complementary target sites in the 3´ untranslated region (UTR) of target messenger RNAs (mRNA). Currently, although the number of genes known to be involved in muscle disorders increases every year, the underlying molecular pathways remain poorly understood. Recent studies have begun to link miRNA and certain muscle-related diseases together. Heart failure (HF) is characterized by a reduced tolerance to exercise due to early fatigue and dyspnea; this may in part be due to skeletal muscle myopathy with a shift from type I 'slow' to type II 'fast' fibers and atrophy. The aim of this work is to identify miRNAs involved in the pathological pathways activated in skeletal muscle changes during HF. The investigation of deregulated miRNA in skeletal muscle atrophy during HF is expected not only to broaden our biological understanding of this condition, but even more importantly, to identify novel disease markers and potential targets for future clinical applications.
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