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Cholesterol
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 847849, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/847849
Review Article

MicroRNA Regulation of Cholesterol Metabolism

Marc and Ruti Bell Vascular Biology and Disease Program, Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology, Departments of Medicine and Cell Biology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA

Received 24 April 2012; Accepted 29 June 2012

Academic Editor: Jean Davignon

Copyright © 2012 Noemi Rotllan and Carlos Fernández-Hernando. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Disruption of cellular cholesterol balance results in pathologic processes including atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Maintenance of cholesterol homeostasis requires constant metabolic adjustment, achieved partly through the fine regulation of the classical transcription factors (e.g., by SREBP and LXR), but also through members of a class of noncoding RNAs termed miRNAs. Some miRNAs have now been identified to be potent post-transcriptional regulators of lipid metabolism genes, including miR-122, miR-33, miR-758, and miR-106b. Different strategies have been developed to modulate miRNA effects for therapeutic purposes. The promise demonstrated by the use of anti-miRs in human preclinical studies, in the case of miR-122, raises the possibility that miR-33, miR-758, and miR-106b may become viable therapeutic targets in future. This review summarizes the evidence for a critical role of some miRNAs in regulating cholesterol metabolism and suggests novel ways to manage dyslipidemias and cardiovascular diseases.