In a study carried out at the UEF, virus vectors were used in a mouse model to deliver small RNA molecules into the heart, and this significantly reduced the size of myocardial infarction.
In the novel treatment method, RNA molecules are targeted at the regulatory area of the vascular endothelial growth factor gene (VEGF-A).
These molecules use epigenetic mechanisms to enhance the production of the growth factor in cells.
The study also focused on the mechanisms of this new treatment, epigenetherapy, in cell models.
The study was carried out in collaboration between researchers of the MRI Research Group at the A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences at the UEF, the University of Jyväskylä, and Temple University in Philadelphia.
The study was published in PLOS ONE.
Research article: Turunen MP, Husso T, Musthafa H, Laidinen S, Dragneva G, Laham-Karam N, Honkanen S, Paakinaho A, Laakkonen JP, Gao E, Vihinen-Ranta M, Liimatainen T, Ylä-Herttuala S. Epigenetic Upregulation of Endogenous VEGF-A Reduces Myocardial Infarct Size in Mice . PLOS ONE. 2014 Feb 26. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089979