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Promising lead in fight against deadly lung disease: microRNA linked to pulmonary arterial hypertension

January 8, 2014

Dr. Duncan Stewart and his team have discovered a potentially important link between pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and a molecule called MiR-26a. PAH is a rare but deadly disease that predominantly affects young women. MiR-26a is a type of microRNA that derived from DNA, but does not code for any of the body’s proteins. Dr. Stewart and his team investigated hundreds of these microRNAs and found that MiR-26a was the only one present at a significantly different level in the blood of both patients and rats with PAH. The levels measured also correlated with other markers of disease severity. This research could lead to new approaches to diagnose, monitor and possibly treat PAH. See the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine for details.

Funders: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence Program (CREST), American Heart Association, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Actelion Pharmaceuticals US (ENTELLIGENCE Young Investigator Award)

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