RNA silencing: From molecular studies to exploring clinical applications in heart failure

Daniela Schmitter

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

    889 Downloads (Pure)


    In living organisms, genes contain information that can lead to the formation of proteins. Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a key element in this process. RNA silencing refers to a natural mechanism conserved in a variety of organisms in which gene expression might be suppressed by tiny regulatory RNA molecules. The so called microRNAs can interfere with the level of protein production which for example plays an important role during the development of an organism. Altered microRNA profiles have also been implicated in disease processes.
    The first part of the thesis addresses the role of RNA silencing as a natural defense mechanism against viruses in plants and investigates the consequence of down-regulating key enzymes in the RNA silencing pathway. The second part of the thesis is devoted to exploring the potential of microRNAs as novel biomarkers in heart failure. By measuring the levels of microRNAs in the blood of patients admitted to hospital with an acute failure to pump sufficient blood through the body, we found that some microRNAs were specifically mis-regulated in accordance with the severity of the disease. Therefore, microRNAs can provide important information about the disease state of patients and may aid physicians in the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of patients with heart failure and other diseases.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Voors, Adriaan, Supervisor
    • van der Meer, Peter, Co-supervisor
    Award date15-Jun-2016
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Cite this