The function and biomarker potential of mitochondrial microRNAs in hypertension(MITO)

Hypertension and microRNA

Hypertension is an extreme public health problem that affects nearly one-third of the world’s adult population. Most cardiovascular diseases are caused by hypertension and are responsible for 9.4 million deaths each year. The diagnosis of hypertension has changed very little over the past 100 years - the simple act of using a stethoscope needs to be refined. The epidemic proportion of hypertension in the world underscores the need for new antihypertensive therapies.

The discovery of noncoding RNAs has revolutionized the traditional view of the molecular pathways involved in the regulatory network of numerous diseases - including hypertension. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are ubiquitously expressed and regulate the expression of target genes by inducing the degradation of messenger RNA (mRNA). As such, they regulate virtually all pathophysiological processes. Interestingly, mitochondria also contain miRNAs, so-called “mitomiRs”, which target either mitochondrial or nuclear protein-coding mRNAs, thereby influencing mitochondrial function, metabolism and dynamics. Deregulation of mitochondrial metabolism contributes to the development of cardiovascular diseases, in which miRNAs may play a key role.


The main objective of the MITO project is to discover novel methods to improve the healthcare of hypertensive patients. Due to an epidemic nature of hypertension and the fact that diagnosis and therapies have remained unchanged for years, this project has a strong potential impact on the health of the population. The MITO project focuses on the investigation of the role of mitochondrial miRNAs in hypertension development. Easily available in blood, miRNAs provide an accessible source of biomarkers and therapeutic targets for clinical application.



📥 Hypertension - Know what is behind your numbers

Financial support

The MITO project is funded by the European Commission Programme, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (Horizon 2020).


The MITO project is carried out in close collaboration with:

• the Department of Natural Science and Environment, University of Roskilde (RUC), Denmark

• the PhyMedExp laboratory INSERM U1046 – CNRS UMR9214 (PHY), University of Montpellier, France

• the Heart Failure Centre of the University of Wurzburg (WUS), Germany

• the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics University of Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina

For more info

• Yvan Devaux, PhD - CVRU Group Leader

Amela Jusic, PhD - CVRU Postdoctoral Fellow