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01.12.2017 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Journal of Translational Medicine 1/2017

Specific circulating microRNA signature of bicuspid aortic valve disease

Journal of Translational Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2017
Neus Martínez-Micaelo, Raúl Beltrán-Debón, Isabel Baiges, Marta Faiges, Josep M. Alegret



We aimed to determine the circulating miRNA expression profile associated with BAV and aortic dilation to provide diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for BAV and/or aortic dilation.

Methods and results

We applied a miRNome-wide microarray approach using plasma samples (n = 24) from healthy tricuspid aortic valve individuals, BAV patients and BAV patients with aortic dilation to compare and identify the specific miRNAs associated with BAV and aortic dilation. In a second stage, the expression patterns of the miRNA candidates were validated by RT-qPCR in an independent cohort (n = 43). The miRNA microarray data and RT-qPCR analyses revealed that the expression levels of circulating miR-122, miR-130a and miR-486 are significantly influenced by the morphology of the aortic valve (bicuspid/tricuspid) and could be functionally involved in the regulation of TGF-β1 signalling. Furthermore, the expression pattern of miR-718 in the plasma was strongly influenced by dilation of the ascending aorta. miR-718 expression was inversely correlated with the aortic diameter (R = −0.63, p = 3.1 × 10−5) and was an independent predictor of aortic dilation (β = −0.41, p = 0.022). The genes targeted by miR-718 are involved in the regulation of vascular remodelling.


We propose that miR-122, miR-130a, miR-486 and miR-718 are new molecular features associated with BAV and aortic dilation principally by the activation of TGF-β1 pathway and vascular remodelling mediated by VEGF signalling pathways.
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