The heart is made up of several different cell types with the majority being either muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) or cells that produce the structural scaffold of the heart (cardiac fibroblasts) [1,2]. Like all cells, cardiac fibroblasts express a class of recently discovered regulatory molecules called “microRNAs”. In fibroblasts, microRNAs are thought to regulate the structural remodelling of the heart following injury or stress (e.g. after a heart attack or in response to high blood pressure) [2,3]. Cardiac fibroblasts contribute to cardiac remodelling through altered proliferation, migration, differentiation, extracellular matrix turnover and secretion of paracrine signalling factors [1-3]. We have recently identified a handful of microRNAs expressed by cardiac fibroblasts that we think are of particular interest in regulating cardiac remodelling .
<p>This project will use a combination of molecular and cellular methods to explore the role of these microRNAs in regulating human cardiac fibroblast function. The project will involve a variety of cell and molecular biology techniques including primary human cell culture, proliferation & migration assays, signalling pathway analysis, SILAC proteomics, luciferase reporter assays, transfection, real-time RT-PCR, Western blotting, ELISA and immunocytochemistry.</p> <h3>References</h3> <p>Porter KE, Turner NA. Cardiac fibroblasts - at the heart of myocardial remodeling. Pharmacology & Therapeutics 2009;123:255-278.</p> <p>Turner NA, Porter KE. Function and fate of myofibroblasts after myocardial infarction. Fibrogenesis & Tissue Repair 2013;6:5.</p> <p>Creemers EE, van Rooij E. Function and therapeutic potential of noncoding RNAs in cardiac fibrosis. Circulation Research 2016;118:108-18.</p> <p>Bageghni SA, Hemmings KE, Porter KE, Denton C, Ainscough JFX, Drinkhill MJ, Turner NA. Cardiac fibroblast-specific p38ï</p>
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<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>