The molecular output of the human genome is composed by a myriad of functional and regulatory molecules. Among them, the non-coding RNAs a wide family of molecular regulators produced by the transcription of specific genomic loci which are not devoted to produce proteins. In non-proliferative organs as the heart, non-coding RNAs are essential players to ensure the correct organ homeostasis and function. The role of non-coding RNAs in the patho-physiology of cardiovascular diseases is starting to be unraveled, however there is still a long road to pave before they could be used as therapeutic targets.
The Cardiomics laboratory is applying a multi-disciplinary approach using structural biology, biochemistry, genetics and bioinformatics to unravel the role of non-coding RNAs in cardiovascular diseases. More specifically, the Cardiomics laboratory is currently investigating the use of circulating miRNAs as biomarkers of cardiac diseases including infarction and atrial fibrillation, the physiological role of miRNAs in rare diseases such as Fabry’s disease, and the involvement of non-coding RNAs as regulators of heart misfunction.
Enguita, J. Francisco PhD
Francisco Enguita was born in Zaragoza, Spain. He got his degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences by the University of Granada, Spain in 1991, where he also complete a Master degree in Microbial Biotechnology in 1992. After that he moved to the University of Salamanca, Spain, where he got his Ph.D. degree in Microbial Genetics. Since 2006 he is as a senior researcher in the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine in the Lisbon University, where he is now an Assistant Professor. He established the Cardiomics research group at the CCUL in 2018.
Costa, C. Marina PhD
Marina C. Costa graduated in Biology by Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon (Portugal) in 1999. She completed her PhD in Biomedical Sciences, at the Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (2007). During her PhD, she investigated the role of genetic mutations on sulpha drugs metabolic targets and its connection with the development of sulpha drug resistance in an opportunistic infection model. In 2010, she started her postdoc studies at Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes, under the supervision of Prof. Francisco Enguita. Her research involved the study of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of miRNA biology and its role as potential disease biomarker. Currently, she is postdoc researcher in CCUL.
Gabriel, F.G. André
André Gabriel holds a BSc degree in Genetics and Biotechnology (Universidade de Trás os Montes e Alto Douro, 2014) and a MSc in Molecular and Cell Biology (Universidade de Aveiro, 2016). During his MSc he worked in Luísa Romão’s laboratory in the Human Genetics Department at the Instituto Nacional de Saúde Dr. Ricardo Jorge, Lisbon, aiming to establish novel, and more efficient, therapies to treat PTC-associated genetic diseases, namely beta-thalassemia.
Prof. Ewa L. Stepien, Institute of Physics, Department of Medical Physics, Jagellonian University, Krakow, Poland
Dr. Vladimir Benes, Genecore facility, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
Prof. Ignacio Gimenez, Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
Prof. Adelino Leite Moreira, Department of Surgery and Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Prof. Inês Pires, Department of Surgery and Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Prof. Henrique Girão, Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Life Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.
PTDC/MED-GEN/29389/2017 (Portugal), 2018-2020: Unraveling the role of circular RNAs in the establishment of permanent atrial fibrillation (Principal Investigator). Budget: 229,115 Euro.
PTDC/BIA-CEL/31230/2017 (Portugal), 2018-2020: Molecular Mechanisms that maintain Mitochondrial Homeostasis in Brain (Co-Principal investigator). Budget: 239,998 Euro.
PTDC/BBB-NAN/1578/2014 (Portugal), 2016-2018: Peptides for blood-brain barrier transmigration and drug delivery – novel therapies for the central nervous system (Team member). Budget: 190,090 Euro.
PTDC/BEX-BCM/3592/2014 (Portugal), 2016-2018: Dissection of microRNA-mediated post-transcriptional regulation of T cell differentiation (Team member). Budget: 172,334 Euro.
PTDC/DTP-EPI/6127/2014 (Portugal), 2016-2018: Role of microRNAs on the left ventricle reverse- remodeling after aortic valve replacement in patients with aortic valve stenosis (Co-Principal Investigator). Budget: 178,000 Euro
Stępień E.L., Durak-Kozica M., Kamińska A., Targosz-Korecka M., Libera M., Tylko G., Opalińska A., Kapusta M., Solnica B., Georgescu A., Costa M.C., Czyżewska-Buczyńska A., Witkiewicz W., Małecki M., Enguita F.J. Circulating ectosomes: Determination of angiogenic microRNAs in Type 2 diabetes. Theranostics 2018, 8(14): 3874-3890. DOI: 10.7150/thno.23334.
Stępień E., Costa M.C., Kurc S., Drożdż A., Cortez-Dias N., Enguita F.J. The circulating non-coding RNA landscape for biomarker research: lessons and prospects from cardiovascular diseases. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2018, 39(7): 1085-1099. DOI: 10.1038/aps.2018.35.
Stepien E.L., Costa M.C., Enguita F.J. miRNAtools: advanced training using the miRNA web of knowledge. Non-coding RNA 2018, 4(1), 5. DOI:10.3390/ncrna4010005.
Cortez-Dias N., Costa M.C., Carrilho-Ferreira P., Silva D., Jorge C., Calisto C., Pessoa T., Robalo Martins S., de Sousa J.C., da Silva P.C., Fiúza M., Diogo A.N., Pinto F.J., Enguita F.J. Circulating miR-122-5p/mir-133b ratio is a specific early prognostic biomarker in acute myocardial infarction. Circ J. 2016, 80(10): 2183-2191. DOI: 10.1253/circj.CJ-16-0568.
Cortez-Dias N., Costa M.C., de Sousa J., Fiúza M., Gallego J., Nobre A., Pinto F.J., Enguita F.J. Expanding the functional role of miRNAs in the establishment of permanent atrial fibrillation. Int J Cardiol. 2016, 222: 340-341. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2016.07.296.