Heart development involves the precise orchestration of gene expression during cardiac differentiation and morphogenesis by evolutionarily conserved regulatory networks. miRNAs (microRNAs) play important roles in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression, and recent studies have established critical functions for these tiny RNAs in almost every facet of cardiac development and disease. The realization that miRNAs are amenable to therapeutic manipulation has also generated considerable interest in the potential of miRNA-based drugs for the treatment of a number of human diseases, including cardiovascular disease. In the present review, I discuss well-established and emerging roles of miRNAs in cardiac development, their relevance to congenital heart disease and unresolved questions in the field for future investigation, as well as emerging therapeutic possibilities for cardiac regeneration.

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