miR-21 is a 22-nucleotide long microRNA that matches target mRNAs in a complementary base pairing fashion and regulates gene expression by repressing or degrading target mRNAs. miR-21 is involved in various cardiomyopathies, including heart failure, dilated cardiomyopathy, myocardial infarction, and diabetic cardiomyopathy. Expression levels of miR-21 notably change in both heart and circulation and provide cardiac protection after heart injury. In the meantime, miR-21 also tightly links to cardiac dysfunctions such as cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis. This review focuses on the miR-21 expression pattern and its functions in diseased-heart and further discusses the feasibility of miR-21 as a biomarker and therapeutic target in cardiomyopathies.
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